A.B. de Villiers and Mark Boucher shared an attacking century partnership on the third day of the fourth and final Test against England at the Wanderers yesterday before rain again interrupted South Africa’s push for a series-leveling win.
South Africa were 382 for six, a first innings lead of 202, when a thunderstorm hit the ground 50 minutes after lunch.
De Villiers (58) and Boucher (79 not out) put on 120 for the sixth wicket, scoring at four runs an over, after three wickets fell early in the day.
De Villiers rode his luck, twice successfully seeking television reviews after being given out by umpire Tony Hill when he was facing off-spinner Graeme Swann, and then seemingly benefiting from a mistake by umpire Steve Davis when he appeared to edge a catch to wicketkeeper Matt Prior off Ryan Sidebottom.
By then, England had used up both their permitted reviews and they could not seek a further opinion from television umpire Daryl Harper. While De Villiers was not entirely convincing, Boucher was in excellent form, stroking his runs off 95 balls, with seven fours. Only two runs had been added when overnight batsmen Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis were dismissed in successive overs, to be followed by J.P. Duminy.
Amla edged the 10th ball of the day from Stuart Broad for Prior to take a diving catch. Kallis followed in the next over when a ball from Ryan Sidebottom lifted more sharply than expected and an attempted pull looped to gully where James Anderson dived to hold a good catch. Duminy’s troubles against Swann continued when he was beaten by the flight and sharp spin to edge the off-spinner’s first ball of the day to slip.
At that stage South Africa were only 55 runs ahead and with a new ball due within seven overs England appeared to have clawed their way back into the match.
De Villiers and Boucher restored South Africa’s dominance, however, before De Villiers mistimed a pull against Broad and was caught at midwicket. With lightning flashing nearby and huge dark clouds hurrying in, the umpires took the players off the field for the third successive day, shortly before a storm stopped play.
Close of play on the third day of the third Test in Hobart, Australia:
• Australia 519-8 dec. and 59-1, Pakistan 301
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