South Africa in driver's seat on Day 4

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Published: Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 10:20 [IST]
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South Africa in driver's seat on Day 4

At the start of Day 4 of the first test between South Africa and Pakistan, the former already had a comfortable lead of 269. But that wasn't about to make batsmen Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis complacent. In the first over itself, Amla sent Umar Gul through the covers for a resounding boundary while Kallis hit Ajmal for a six over long on in the next over to set the tone for the day.

Before Pakistan knew what had hit them, Amla and Kallis had both reached their half centuries and were still going strong. The duo took South Africa past the 200-run mark in the 65th over when Kallis smacked a tiring Abdur Rehman to the square boundary. A couple of overs later, Kallis deposited Ajmal for a straight six and later in the over, sent him for two blistering boundaries, one to past third man and one through square leg.

The unstoppable pair then took South Africa past 250 in the 79th over, by picking Abdur Rehman for 7 runs. Both batsmen were in the 90s now and in a race to reach hundred. Amla got their first, making his fourth hundred in tests.

Jacques Kallis followed suit by reaching his century in the next over. With the Proteas' lead over 400 now, the batsmen were in a hurry to pile as many more runs as possible before a probable declaration. Kallis launched Ajmal for a massive six over mid wicket at the end of the 86th over. The batsmen then picked the ones and twos with incessant rapidity.

In the 94th over, Kallis was in for some luck when he top-edged a Saeed Ajmal doosra only to see it get dropped by Umar Gul. He made the Pakistani's pay for that mistake when in the next over he hit Rehman for a six and a four to take South Africa to 318/2, a score on which the Proteas declared. South Africa had thus set Pakistan a daunting target of 451 with still over one session and a whole day left to bat out.

Pakistan's openers lasted out the 8 overs before tea, making 26/0. After the break, they dawdled on. But Hafeez went soon when in the 14th over, the fiery Dale Steyn got him caught by Botha at first slip.

Azhar Ali and Taufeeq Umar were now under pressure to deliver against heavy odds, but Umar wasn't upto the challenge and perished to Botha when he edged a ball straight to Kallis at slip in the 33rd over. It was a crucial blow for Pakistan as they had now lost two set batsmen with the score at 75/2.

But Younis Khan and Azhar Ali played out the last few overs of the day and took Pakistan to 109/2 at stumps on Day 4. Will South Africa prevail on the last day or will Pakistan be able to deprive the Proteas of a likely win?


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