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History beckons South Africa in Perth

Published: Sunday, December 21, 2008, 11:16 [IST]
 
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Perth: The first Test between Australia and South Africa at the WACA is poised on a exciting finish after the hosts claimed the vital wicket of Jacques Kallis in the morning session to leave the Proteas 322 for four at lunch and still needing 92 more runs for an historic victory.

After putting on a 124-run stand for the fourth wicket with AB de Villiers (66 not out), Jacques Kallis became Mitchell Johnson's third wicket of the innings and 11th of the match when he was brilliantly caught by Michael Hussey for 57 attempting a drive that he edged to gully.

Proteas debutant JP Duminy (six not out) then survived two Johnson overs before lunch, the batsman looking all at sea as Johnson attacked him with several shorter deliveries that peppered the body.

Kallis' wicket, though, was a much-needed boost for Australia on a tense morning of cricket as the all-rounder and de Villiers were relatively untroubled by the old ball during the first 16 overs in putting on 54 runs as they closed in on a target of 414 to complete the second-highest run chase in Test history.

Kallis nicked a Peter Siddle ball that stayed low but it bounced in front of wicketkeeper Brad Haddin before Michael Clarke's second over with the old ball went for 11 runs as the batsman nonchalantly cracked him over the long-on boundary for six.

Johnson and Lee were handed the new ball but could not break the partnership as an increasingly ashen-faced Ponting looked on.

Lee induced another edge from Kallis that flew narrowly over middle stump before Johnson made the breakthrough in the next over to give Australia renewed hope for what could prove to be a

historic and possibly series-defining session in Perth.

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