NEW DELHI (AP) â€” South Africa made a determined bid to salvage a draw after Ajinkya Rahane set up the match for India with a century in each innings in the fourth & final test.
South Africa's runs came at a snail's pace as it reached 72-2 at stumps on the fourth day, chasing an improbable target of 481 after India declared at 267-5.
Captain Hashim Amla scored 23 not out off 207 deliveries & A.B. de Villiers 11 not out from 91 as South Africa batted for 72 overs.
p>South Africa, which is playing for pride after conceding a decisive 2-0 lead in the series, needs to bat out another full day for the draw.
Amla took 46 deliveries to obtain off the mark on a pitch that seemed to play slower than it did at the start of the test, while A.B. de Villiers scored his first run off the 33rd ball he faced.
Amla opened his account with an inside edge that just missed the stumps. His next scoring shot was moreover a lucky one, as he edged through the slips.
The third-wicket partnership between Amla & de Villiers took 63 balls to obtain its first run & prompted India captain Virat Kohli to try out part-time bowlers like Shikhar Dhawan & Murali Vijay in a bid to make something happen.
"It's the amount of time that you bat out which is the key," South Africa opener Temba Bavuma said. "Runs were not important. We did sit down & discuss the plan & blocking was the best way forward to tackle the challenge."
Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin was the only successful bowler as he removed both openers.
He had Dean Elgar caught at slip early on for four while Bavuma was bowled after scoring 34 off 117 balls with one six & four fours.
"Creating chances becomes difficult when the batsman is not playing shots," India pace bowler Umesh Yadav said. "But we did try to create some chances & hope to obtain some early wickets tomorrow to try & push for a win."
Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane scored 100 not out to become the fifth Indian player to score a century in each innings of a test match.
Rahane struck eight fours & three sixes to bring up the twin tons, yet captain Virat Kohli missed out on a century of his own as he was out for 88, adding just five runs to his overnight score.
Wriddhiman Saha was 23 not out at the declaration.
Rahane, whose first innings knock of 127 had helped India gain a huge 213-run lead, carried on positively from his overnight score of 52 to pile on the agony for South Africa.
Rahane struck all three of his sixes in the morning session to accelerate the run rate.
He played an upper-cut six over third man off pace bowler Morne Morkel & dispatched legspinner Imran Tahir & part-time left-arm spinner Dean Elgar once each over the mid-wicket fence with well executed slog-sweep shots.
Rahane received to his century with a single off Tahir & India immediately declared.
Kohli struck 10 fours off 165 balls before he was trapped leg-before wicket by Kyle Abbott with a delivery that kept low. It ended a 154-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Rahane, the only century stand in the series.
Source: “Associated Press”