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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Wanderers Test PHOTOS: Exciting finish on the cards

Wanderers Test PHOTOS: Exciting finish on the cards

December 21, 2013 23:00 IST

Wanderers Test PHOTOS: Exciting finish on the cards

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The first cricket Test between India and South Africa seemed headed for an exciting finish with the hosts needing to score 320 runs with eight wickets remaining on a tricky last day to pull off a record-breaking victory Johannesburg on Saturday.

-Scorecard

Set a stiff target of 458 for victory after India scored 421 in their second innings, the hosts put up a better batting display to reach 138 for two at close on the penultimate day on a Wanderers track.

Resuming at the overnight score of 284 for two, the Indians rode on the marathon 222-run partnership between Cheteshwar Pujara (153) and Virat Kohli (96) for the third wicket to take a substantial lead.

The 222-run partnership was the highest stand for third wicket in a Test match second innings overseas. They bettered the long-standing record of 211 runs for the third wicket between Vinoo Mankad and Vijay Hazare at the Lord's in 1952.


Image: Cheteshtar Pujara and Virat Kohli (right) of India run a single during Day 4 of the 1st Test
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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Wanderers Test PHOTOS: Exciting finish on the cards

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Kohli was unlucky to miss out on a twin century as he was out for 96 in the opening session on Saturday after hitting 119 in India's first innings.

Kohli went on the backfoot for a cut off Duminy, in the 99th over of the innings, and was out caught behind. He was flustered with his dismissal, even so walked off to a standing ovation.


Image: Virat Kohli of India walks off after being dismissed
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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Wanderers Test PHOTOS: Exciting finish on the cards

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Rohit Sharma (6) suffered another failure. He was bowled by Kallis in the 94th over, off an in-swinging delivery that stayed low. 


Image: Rohit Sharma of India is bowled by Jaques Kallis (not pictured) for 6 runs
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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Wanderers Test PHOTOS: Exciting finish on the cards

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Earlier, after India were all out for 421 in the post-lunch session, captain Graeme Smith (44) and Alviro Petersen (76 batting)carefully negotiated the opening salvo from visiting bowlers for an hour to take the home side to 38 for no loss at tea.

Smith and Petersen batted in a resolute manner after tea also, watching the incoming balls carefully and scoring runs whenever the bowlers strayed onto their pads.


Image: Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen of South Africa walks off at tea during day 4 of the 1st Test match
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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Wanderers Test PHOTOS: Exciting finish on the cards

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Petersen and Faf du Plessis (10 batting) were at the crease at stumps on another absorbing day's play which has set the stage for a thrilling finish with all three results a possibility.

A South African victory looks remote at this stage as no team has ever successfully chased down a target of 458 in Test history so far.


Image: Alviro Petersen of South Africa plays to fine-leg
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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With the pitch showing no signs of any rapid deterioration, the Indians may find the going tough to push for a 1-0 series lead on the final day's play on Sunday, considering that the Proteas have a strong batting line-up.

The Proteas, on the other hand, will look to bat out the entire day to avoid the embarrassment of a defeat at home.


Image: Fancy dress winner during Day 4 of the 1st Test match
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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