South Africa stumble early in record chase


  • Other Sport
  • Sunday, 25 Nov 2012

ADELAIDE (Reuters) - South Africa's run-chase of 430 for victory in the second test against Australia began disastrously when they lost two wickets to stumble to 40-2 at tea on Sunday.

Paceman Ben Hilfenhaus removed opener Graeme Smith for a second-ball duck on just the sixth delivery of the innings on a baking hot afternoon at Adelaide Oval.

The South African captain, who anchored the tourists' first innings with a defiant century, played at a delivery moving away and sent a thick edge flying to second slip where Ricky Ponting took a sharp, low catch.

Hashim Amla and opener Alviro Petersen added 33 runs for the second wicket before spinner Nathan Lyon struck to remove Amla for 17 off 36 balls, caught behind with a juggled catch to Australia captain Michael Clarke at slip.

Petersen was on 20 and Jacques Rudolph on two, with the tourists still 390 runs behind their victory target with four sessions left to play.

Australia set South Africa the mammoth 430-run target after declaring at 267-8 after lunch on the fourth day on Sunday.

South Africa will have to defy history to win at Adelaide Oval where the highest successful fourth innings run-chase was 315 by the hosts in 1902 against England.

The Proteas will need to dig in and bat out 140 overs, but can draw some small comfort that Australia's bowlers will have to toil in the field for a day-and-a-half without the support of injured paceman James Pattinson.

Pattinson suffered a side strain on day three and has been ruled out for the third and final test in Perth and Australia's entire three-test series against Sri Lanka, the team said on Sunday.

Matt Wade and Pattinson had resumed after lunch with Australia on 206-7, adding 14 runs before the wicketkeeper batsman edged a catch to AB de Villiers.

Hilfenhaus and Pattinson added another 47 runs in a swashbuckling stand before Clarke called them in halfway through the session.

Tasmanian workhorse Hilfenhaus plundered Rory Kleinveldt for three fours in an over, a deserving response to some wayward bowling from the South African paceman.

Pattinson joined in, punching two boundaries in consecutive balls through the covers to leave Dale Steyn fuming.

Pattinson was on 29 and Hilfenhaus 18 at the declaration.

FRUITLESS TOIL

South Africa had raised the possibility of an unlikely victory at the close of day three, after tearing through Australia's batsmen with five wickets after tea, but needed quick wickets in the morning to maintain their faint hopes.

Clarke and Hussey who resumed with the score on 111 for five, gave them few opportunities, however, with South Africa's pace trio of Steyn, Rory Kleinveldt and Morkel asking few questions on a slowly deteriorating pitch.

After Clarke's dismissal for 38, confirmed on video review after the Australian captain referred it, Kleinveldt had a big appeal for lbw on Wade turned down.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith referred the decision, more out of desperation than logic, but the video review projected the ball flying well over the stumps.

Hussey, in white-hot form after centuries in his previous two innings, blasted a cut-shot to the fence off Kleinveldt to raise his half-century, but was out soon after for 54, skying a simple catch to Steyn just before lunch.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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