Sunday, December 21, 2008

South Africa beat Australia after record chase

AB de Villiers hit an unbeaten century to guide South Africa to a successful record-breaking run chase of 414 -- the second biggest run chase in Test history against Australia at the WACA in Perth on Sunday.

De Villiers was unbeaten on a cracking 106 and debutant JP Duminy was not out on 50 as South Africa produced a great batting display on the fifth and final day to win the opening Test by a comfortable six-wicket margin.

Captain Graeme Smith had given them a perfect start in their second innings with a magnificent 109, adding 153 runs for the third wicket with Hashim Amla (53).

Mitchell Johnson , who took eight for 61 in the first innings, continued chipping away at the wickets in the second innings but the South African middle order came to the party in fine style.

Resuming on 227 for three, veteran Jacques Kallis hit a timely half-century (57) and was involved in a 124-run partnership for the fourth wicket with de Villiers to give the visitors the upperhand.

But the wicket of Kallis, with South Africa needing another 111 runs for victory, left the match evenly poised.

De Villiers then took centrestage and he along with Duminy scored runs at will as the Australian bowlers seemed completely clueless.

De Villiers hit nine boundaries in 186 deliveries, his seventh Test century, as South Africa coasted to the victory target in 119.2 overs in the post lunch session.

Incidentally, the highest run-chase in Test cricket had come also against Australia when the West Indies chased down a mammoth 418 for seven at St John's in 2003.
Highest run-chases in Test cricket:

West Indies418-7v AustraliaSt John's2003
South Africa414-4v AustraliaPerth2008-09
India406-4v West IndiesPort of Spain1975-76
Australia404-3v England Leeds1948
India387-4v EnglandChennai2008-09

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