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Australia need 6 wickets to win Test series

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AB de Villiers underlined his ability to take his game from one extreme to another as he led the South Africa act of defiance against a rampant Australian side on the fourth day of the third Test match at Sahara Park Newlands on Tuesday. De Villiers occupied the crease for exactly 100 balls for his unbeaten 16 runs that saw the Proteas reach 71/4 at the close of play in pursuit of a world record victory target of 511.

De Villiers has no doubt cast his mind back to November, 2012, when he occupied the crease for more than four hours to rescue a draw in partnership with his old school mate, Faf du Plessis. As a matter of comparison the Proteas had 77/4 off 50 overs at the close of the fourth day of that remarkable Adelaide Test match with De Villiers having Du Plessis as his partner with an injured Jacques Kallis the remaining dependable batsman to come.

At the moment he has night watchman Kyle Abbott as his partner with Du Plessis and JP Duminy the key batsmen still to come to the crease.

The odds are still very much on a well deserved Australian victory as they have dominated the match from day one and can probably claim to have won all12 sessions of play.

They finally declared at 303/5 in their second innings off only 58 overs as David Warner once again provided one of the batting highlights for Australia with his second century of the match (145 off 156 balls, 13 fours and 4 sixes), his third in this series, his fourth against South Africa and his eighth overall. His opening partnership with Chris Rogers that bolted the back door was worth 123 in only 20.2 overs.

When they batted a second time the Proteas found themselves in deep trouble, being 15/3 at the tea interval off only six overs from Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris. That included Graeme Smith who fell for three in his final Test innings.

He was given a guard of honour by the Australians as he came to the crease and a standing ovation by the Newlands faithful as he left it.