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Johannesburg Test: South Africa 138/2 chasing 458

South African opener Alviro Petersen’s unbeaten 76 guided the hosts to 138/2 at the end of day four of the Johannesburg Test. Chasing an improbable 458 to win the game, the South African openers Petersen and skipper Graeme Smith (44) added 108 for the opening stand before the latter was run out by Ajinkya Rahane going for a tight run.

Alviro Petersen
Alviro Petersen. Pic/AFP

Mohammed Shami got India the second breakthrough by dismissing Hashim Amla for 4 in a bizarre manner. Amla ducked seeing the ball being pitched short from Shami, but the ball kept so low that it ended up hitting the off stump.

Faf du Plessis (10 not out), who came in at number 4, was giving Petersen company at stumps.

Tea Report: India riding on Cheteshwar Pujara's 153 and Virat Kohli's 96 piled up a mammoth 421 all out in the second innings and set a target of 458 for South Africa.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. File pic

At tea, South Africa were still trailing by 420 runs as they reached 38 for no loss in the second innings with skipper Graeme Smith batting on 28 and Alviro Petersen on nine.

Indian pacers kept probing the South African openers but were unlucky. Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan almost had Smith in the third over but Kohli failed to latch on to a half-chance at short-fine leg.

Earlier, India did well to added 137 runs to the overnight score of 284/2 after losing four quick wickets for just 43 runs in the first session.

Though all the four wickets, including that of Kohli and Pujara, fell before lunch but by then India had opened up an overall lead of 394 runs. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (29) and Zaheer Khan (29 not out) also came up with valuable contributions.

Both Pujara and Kohli were watchful as Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander (3/68) bowled a probing line and length.

But it was double strikes from the veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis (3/68) that put India on the backfoot early in the day.

For Pujara, it was a lapse in concentration that cost him his wicket. Soon after he got his 150, Pujara went for a cut but edged it to AB de Villiers. Rohit Sharma (6) was castled by a delivery that kept low and darted in sharply.

After the two quick wickets, the focus was on Kohli who was just sniffing distance away from joining the likes of Vijay Hazare, Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid as the only Indians to make a century in each innings of a Test.

But four short of what would have been his sixth Test century, Kohli threw away his wicket nicking to De Villiers off Jean Paul Duminy (2/87). Kohli stood in shock and disbelief as he missed out on a golden chance of becoming the first Indian No.4 to score a ton in each innings.

Rahane became Duminy's second victim of the day as he reached out for a forward defensive shot but got a thick outside edge and Smith pouched it quite well in the slip as lunch was called.

In the next session, India added 63 runs after some lusty hitting by Zaheer who scored an unbeaten 29 off 31 balls with the help of two sixes and three fours. 

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