A 126-run opening stand between David Warner and Chris Rogers gave Australia an excellent start to their pursuit of a record 448 for victory on the fourth day of the second Test against South Africa yesterday.
The touring side went to tea on 141 for one after the dismissal of Warner for 66 was South Africa’s only success during an afternoon session in which the batsmen looked largely untroubled and scored at nearly four runs to the over.
Chris Rogers, coming off three successive failures, was not out on 69 and will resume after the break with Alex Doolan (one).
South Africa had declared their second innings on 270 for five with Hashim Amla striking an elegant unbeaten 127.
Rogers and Warner smashed the ball to all parts, the latter hitting four successive boundaries off Morne Morkel, as Australia took a positive attitude toward their daunting chase.
The breakthrough for the home side came when J.P. Duminy trapped Warner LBW. The batsman reviewed the decision, but it was upheld by third umpire Aleem Dar.
The pitch still looks good for batting, though there is turn and the South African bowlers are beginning to generate reverse swing.
Amla plundered an unbeaten 127 before the home side declared 40 minutes before lunch.
Amla reached his 21st test century to move joint third on South Africa’s all-time list with Gary Kirsten, still behind Graeme Smith (27) and Jacques Kallis (45).
The 30-year-old brought up the milestone off 139 balls with 14 fours, most of them caressed through the covers.