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Play resumes; a thrilling finale on cards

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Published: Monday, November 21, 2011, 15:26 [IST]
 
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Aussies need 168 runs to win

Johannesburg, Nov 21: Rain God favors South Africa as play has just begun on Day 5. Though rain has stopped, groundsmen need atleast an hour to work on the ground to facilitate and resume play. Aussies comeback strongly in the second innings as they are just 168 runs away from victory with 7 wickets in hand. Ricky Ponting and Khawaja score half centuries while Aussie pacer Pat Cummins grabbed 6 wickets on debut to restrict South Africa to 339 in the second test at Wanderers in Johannesburg.

Finally Ponting is back amongst runs. After a span of 12 months, Ponting has scored his 57th half century helping Aussies reach 142/3 at stumps on Day 4.

Wanderers has also recorded 4 days of play, with another day remaining, Aussies need 168 runs to win, as it happens to be a thrilling finale on Monday. Earlier, South Africa set Aussies a target of 310 to win the second test at Wanderers on Sunday.

Australia after losing the openers, who had given great starts consecutively in the series early, badly needed a partnership to survive in this test. The 122 run partnership between Ricky Ponting and Khawaja for the 3rd wicket set the tone for the test as Aussies were moving towards the target with just 168 runs away.

This partnership came at the right time and from the right person. It was indeed a breather for Ponting, as the knock dimnished his poor form as he scored a fine half century after a series of failures.

Everything looked settled by the close of day 4 before Khawaja was dismissed by Imran Tahir for 65. At the end of Day 4, Aussies has scored 142 for the loss of three wickets.

Elected to bat, after winning the toss South Africa scored 266 in its first innings. Riding high on half centuries by three batsmen - Kallis, AB deVilliers and AG Prince. Australia's Peter Siddle picked up three wickets while Clarke and Lyon grabbed two each. Others got a wicket each.

Earlier, South Africa's Dale Steyn was very impressive with his 4/64 while the youngster Imran Tahir was no different as he grabbed 3/55 to help the hosts restrict Aussies to 296 in their first innings after a great start.

Even after a huge collapse, Aussies managed to get a 30 run lead as they plan to restrict the hosts to a small score and eye to win to register a comeback. Meanwhile, South Africa is also eager to finish on a high as they are planning to seal the series at Wanderers as they have not won a series at home since 1969-70.

With 168 more runs to win, Aussies look favourites but nothing can be said as Australian middle order except Clarke haven't fired quite well off late. With Ponting playing a survival innings things might change. This partnership between Clarke and Ponting happens to the turning point of the day. South Africa need 7 wickets while Aussies need 168 more runs.

ThatsCricket

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