Aus­tralia chas­ing 539 to win Waca Test

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Feed­back: os­eab@fi­jisun.com.fj

Perth: Aus­tralia will have to defy 139 years of Test his­tory to beat South Africa, who de­clared at 8-540 shortly af­ter lunch on day four of the first Test at the Waca. The Proteas re­sumed at 6-390 yes­ter­day and in­creased their lead to 538 runs when skip­per Faf du Plessis fi­nally put Aus­tralia out of their mis­ery.

Du Plessis’ dec­la­ra­tion came 3.1 overs af­ter the meal break, when Ver­non Phi­lan­der was clean bowled for 73 by Steve Smith.

Aus­tralia will need to set a Test record if they’re to win the three-match se­ries opener.

The high­est suc­cess­ful run chase in the histo- ry of the game came in 2003, when West Indies reached 7-418 to de­feat Aus­tralia in St John’s.

Spear­head Dale Steyn’s se­ries-end­ing shoul­der in­jury means the Proteas will be a bowler down dur­ing the fi­nal in­nings of the match. Smith sug­gested on Satur­day that Steyn’s ab­sence would em­bolden the hosts’ mis­fir­ing bats­men.

But cracks in the pitch and a first-in­nings col­lapse of 10-86 will also be on their minds - to say noth­ing of the de­mor­al­is­ing fact Aus­tralia have been in the field dur­ing ev­ery day of the con­test. Du Plessis se­cured a mem­o­rable draw at Ade­laide Oval in 2012, when the tourists sur­vived four and a half ses­sions

How­ever, bat­ting time has not been Aus­tralia’s strong suit in re­cent years. In­ept bat­ting swung mo­men­tum the Proteas’ way on day two but Aus­tralia could eas­ily be chas­ing a far lower tar­get if they held some catches on days three and four. -AAP

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