Hashim Amla leads South Africa resistance but India firmly on top
India 334 & 267-5 dec (Rahane 100no) v
South Africa 121 & 72-2 (Bavuma 34)
Fourth Test, Delhi, day four
Hashim Amla played a determined innings negotiating 207 deliveries as South Africa offered firm resistance in the final innings against India, ending the fourth day at 72 for two needing 409 more to win the fourth Test against India in Delhi.
Earlier the day belonged to Ajinkya Rahane, who notched up his second century in the game taking India to 267 for five in their second innings before they decided to declare the innings, setting a target of 481 for South Africa.
India started day four at their overnight score of 190 for four. Rahane (100 not out) adopted an aggressive approach and two fours and a six in the first four overs of the day.
12 runs short of his century, Virat Kohli (88) attempted to play Kyle Abbott (1-47) on the on side but the ball kept very low and trapped him plumb in front.
Rahane continued his positive approach and built a 56-run unbeaten stand with Wriddhiman Saha (23 not out) for the sixth wicket. After a steady start, Saha also got into the act with three boundaries in two overs.
In the 101st over, Rahane flicked Imran Tahir (1-74) to square leg and brought up his century, becoming the fifth Indian batsman to score a hundred in each innings of a Test match.
India immediately declared after Rahane’s hundred after having scored 267 for five in 100.1 overs setting a target of 481 for South Africa to win.
With about 20 minutes left for the lunch break Temba Bavuma (34) and Dean Elgar (4) came out to open for South Africa.
Elgar lasted all but 17 balls before he edged to Rahane in the slips off Ravichandran Ashwin (2-29). South Africa went into the lunch with the score reading five for one.
The visitors adopted a highly cautious approach in the second session. Bavuma hit the odd boundary but Amla (23 not out) shifted into an ultra-defensive mode and took 46 balls to get off the mark.
South Africa scored just 16 runs in the first hour of the second session. The second hour was more of the same with Amla and Bavuma displaying their defensive techniques.
The duo safely took South Africa to tea without any loss of wickets. After scoring 35 runs in the second session, South Africa were positioned at 40 for one.
Amla and Bavuma began the final session with a boundary each. The 44-run stand which came in 232 deliveries between the duo was broken when Bavuma was castled by Ashwin with a lovely delivery that went past the edge and uprooted the off stump.
The arrival of AB de Villiers (11 not out) did not change South Africa’s strategy. At the end of the 50th over, South Africa were 49 for two - the lowest total by any team after facing 50 overs in a Test.
The first 10 overs of the partnership between Amla and de Villiers were all maidens with the South African fifty coming up in the 54th over.
De Villiers took 89 delivers to get into double figures and along with Amla, he added 23 runs in 29.2 overs.
The duo safely took South Africa to stumps with the score at 72 for two after 72 overs with 409 runs still needed for victory.
Ashwin accounted for both the South African wickets.
© Cricket World 2015