At stumps on the fourth day, India were 68/2, trailing South Africa by 98 runs
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Durban, 29 December
Jacques Kallis made his swansong match a memorable one by hitting his 45th Test hundred as India faced a daunting task of batting out the entire fifth day to save the series-deciding second cricket Test against South Africa, here.
Kallis ensured that he left the Test arena in a blaze of glory with a fluent 115 as the home team posted a mammoth 500 in their first innings to take a sizeable 166-run lead.
India lost both the openers Murali Vijay (6) and Shikhar Dhawan (19) before reaching 68 for two on yet another rain-marred day, still needing 98 runs to avoid the ignominy of an innings defeat. Cheteshwar Pujara (32) and Virat Kohli (11) will resume India’s battle tomorrow. Pujara and Dhawan had batted with caution after paceman Vernon Philander had Vijay caught in the slips. But Faf du Plessis took a spectacular one-handed catch to send back Dhawan, who played uppishly in the mid-wicket region and failed to clear the fielder. It was yet another waste of a watchful start by Dhawan, who ended this Test series with scores of 13,15, 29 and 19.
With one day left in the match, the visitors have to bat out the final day to share the honours in the two-match series. The first Test in Johannesburg had ended in a thrilling draw.
South Africa on the other hand need to take eight wickets on a tricky fifth day track at the Kingsmead to give Kallis a perfect gift in his farewell match.
Beginning at the overnight score of 299 for five, Kallis scored 115 off 316 balls with 13 boundaries while lower-order batsman Robin Peterson played a 61-run cameo before their innings folded for exactly 500.
Left-arm spinner Ravidra Jadeja was the pick of the bowler for India with six wickets for 138 runs while paceman Zaheer Khan took two wickets at the expense of 97 runs.
South African pacemen Dale Steyn (0-5) and Morne Morkel (0-11) bowled well with the new ball, getting more pace, bounce and movement than the Indian attack earlier on, yet could not get anymore breakthroughs.
Dhawan was more watchful than usual, carefully leaving deliveries he did not need to play at. Pujara was his resilient self, playing for time. The two batsmen silently put on 45 runs for the second wicket, successfully negotiating the initial pace barrage.
After Dhawan’s dismissal, Kohli joined Pujara in the middle and Indias two best batsmen on display avoided further damage.