South Africa vs Australia 4th Test Day 4: South Africa strike thrice after Du Plessis’ ton

Faf du Plessis 120 South Africa Australia 4th Test Day 4 Johannesburg cricket

Faf du Plessis celebrates after scoring his eighth Test century

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Following an entertaining 120 by South Africa captain Faf du Plessis, the Proteas struck thrice and will need to take seven more wickets on the final day to beat Australia.

Starting off the day on 134/3, Du Plessis and Dean Elgar converted their 40-run partnership into a 170-run stand, during which Du Plessis brought up his hundred and Elgar his half-century.

Dean Elgar 81 South Africa Australia 4th Test Day 4 Johannesburg cricket

Dean Elgar raises his bat after scoring his 12th Test fifty

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

With South Africa cruising and their lead increasing by a substantial amount, Australia tried to do everything in their power to get a breakthrough.

They finally succeeded in doing so when Du Plessis was caught by Peter Handscomb at second slip off the bowling of Pat Cummins for 120, which came off 178 balls and included 18 boundaries and two sixes.

Elgar went on to make 81 off 250 deliveries, which included 10 boundaries and a six, before he was removed by Nathan Lyon.

Even though wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock fell shortly after, Temba Bavuma and Vernon Philander stabilised the innings with an unbeaten 71-run partnership before South Africa declared on 344/6, which set Australia a mammoth target of 612 runs to win.

Bavuma ended up making 35, while Philander remained unbeaten on 33.

Cummins was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Lyon snapped up two.

Chasing 612 to win, Australia lost opener Matt Renshaw early on as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Morne Morkel for five runs.

Usman Khawaja fared no better as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Keshav Maharaj for seven runs. Khawaja decided to review the decision, but his gamble didn’t pay off.

Joe Burns made an encouraging 42 before he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Morkel.

Handscomb and Shaun Marsh managed to put together an unbeaten 20-run partnership before bad light brought play to an end for the day.

Handscomb finished on 23 off 30 balls, which included four boundaries, while Marsh remained undefeated on seven off 19 deliveries, which included a solitary boundary.

Morkel was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Maharaj claimed one.

Australia ended day four on 88/3 and will continue batting on Tuesday at 10:00 local time or 08:00 GMT.

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