Steven Finn broke a defiant partnership when he had A.B. de Villiers caught shortly before tea on the third day of the second Test between South Africa and England at Newlands in Cape Town yesterday.
South Africa were 290-3 at tea, still 339 runs behind England’s first innings total of 629-6 declared.
De Villiers was out for 88 after he and captain Hashim Amla put on 183 in a third-wicket partnership that lasted for two minutes short of five hours.
Amla, who survived two chances, was unbeaten on 132, his first Test century since he made 208 against the West Indies in Centurion in December 2014.
Amla was dropped by James Anderson at slip off Joe Root when he was on 76 and by Nick Compton at backward-point off Finn when he had 120.
Both men batted solidly for the most part, but had anxious moments which required decisions by television umpire Rod Tucker.
Amla managed to get his bat down just in time after Finn deflected a drive by De Villiers onto the stumps at the bowler’s end. De Villiers was given out leg before wicket to Ben Stokes by umpire Aleem Dar when he was on 85, but De Villiers immediately sought a review which showed the ball had gone off an inside-edge onto his pad.
De Villiers scored only three more runs before he pulled a short ball from Finn hard but straight to Anderson at midwicket.
He had defied the England bowlers for 298 minutes and 211 balls, hitting 12 fours and a six.
Amla, who had averaged 15.00 in his previous 10 Test innings, batted solidly apart from his two chances, reaching his 24th Test century off 214 balls when he hit the 16th four of his innings.
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