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Perth Test evenly poised

December 20, 2008 20:20 IST

The opening Test between Australia and South Africa at Perth is interestingly poised at the end of fourth day's play on Saturday.

Chasing 414 for a win, the visitors were 227 for three at close.

Day 1 Report | Scorecard

Captain Graeme, with an imperious 108, gave South Africa a glimmer of hope of what seemed a highly improbable win to begin with.

However, Mitchell Johnson's tenth wicket of the match (Smith) and Brett Lee's first (Hashim Amla who made 53), ensured it was all square going into the final day.

For the record, South Africa need 187 runs on the final day with seven wickets in hand.

The visitors began tentatively, losing Neil McKenzie (10) early, but Smith and Amla had a 153-run stand for the second-wicket to not only steady the ship but also offer them a chance to go full throttle.

Smith's first ton against Australia -- his 18th overall - was also a knock that witnessed him surpass the 6, 000 Test runs mark (when on 7).

Amla nicked a Lee delivery soon after and Brad Haddin made no mistake.

At stumps, Jacques Kallis was batting on 33 and giving him company was AB de Villiers (11).

Earlier, Australia strengthened their position, adding 91 before being dismissed for 319 in their second essay.

Haddin made an outstanding 94.