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Rediff.com  » Sports » Duminy, Dale revive South Africa

Duminy, Dale revive South Africa

December 28, 2008 16:11 IST

Nothing seems to be going right for Australia at the moment.

How else can you explain the hosts letting South Africa off the hook after having cornered at close on day two?

Scorecard | Day 2 Report

The visitors started the third day 196 adrift with only three wickets left and needed divine intervention to avoid giving Australia a handy first innings lead, and thereby control of the match

And in JP Duminy they found an answer.

Duminy, with substantial support from Paul Harris (39) and Dale Steyn (a career-best 76) not only ensured the above but also helped his side overcome Australia's score 394 and take a crucial first innings lead.

The visitors put up 459, taking a 65-run cushion into the second innings. At close on day three, the hosts were four without loss, and obviously shellshocked.

Duminy's maiden Test ton (166) comprised of 18 hits to the fence and put South Africa in a position to clinch the series, having already pocketed the opening Test at Perth.

The 24-year-old's ninth-wicket stand with Steyn yielded 180, the third-highest ninth-wicket partnership ever, and frustrated Australia for hours.  

Earlier, Duminy and Harris put on 67 runs for the eighth wicket and that marked the start of a day when South Africa not only added 261 runs to their total and took a vital first first innings lead, but also took significant time away from the home team, which now needs to take desperate measures to square the series.