Proteas look for big finish

Du Plessis hits 68 before Amla and De Villiers build unbeaten partnership of 70 to put win over West Indies in sight.

    Proteas look for big finish
    Captain Amla's presence at the crease means the West Indian bowlers have their work cut out [AFP]

    South Africa are hoping to amass a big first-innings lead and only bat once as they look to wrap up the series against the West Indies in Cape Town.

    The Proteas are 102 runs behind in their first innings in the third and final Test but will have two of the world's top three batsmen, captain Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, at the crease when they resume on 227 for three after rain brought a premature halt to the second day's play on Saturday.

    "We're in a really good position and have the base to score some really big runs," batsman Faf Du Plessis told reporters at Newlands.

    "We are just three wickets down with AB and Hash at the wicket and you'd hope we can get a really big score. If we can get to 450 or 500, it will hopefully mean we might not need to bat again."

    Amla, unbeaten on 55, and de Villiers, 32 not out, shared in an unbeaten 70-run partnership after Du Plessis had contributed 68 as the West Indies took just one wicket in each of the day's three sessions.

    The touring side got Dean Elgar out cheaply on the stroke of lunch before running out fellow opener Alviro Petersen for 42 before tea.

    Du Plessis was stumped in the final session, missing a wide ball from spinner Sulieman Benn, who bowled 24 successive overs and returned figures of one for 62.

    Rain fell 30 minutes before the scheduled close.

    Earlier, the West Indies added 53 runs to their overnight tally of 276 for six, losing their remaining four wickets inside the first hour.

    Fast bowler Dale Steyn claimed two more wickets as West Indies spent just 49 minutes at the crease, enough time for Jermaine Blackwood to top score for them with a handy 56.

    The tail folded quickly, although the last three wickets were interspersed with some lusty blows off the South African pace attack.

    Steyn took two wickets on Friday to become his country's second highest wicket taker in Tests and two more on Saturday increased his career tally to 393, 28 behind Shaun Pollock's record of 421.

    "The ball does move about a bit but if we can get through that unscathed then we have a chance to do something,” Du Plessis added of the prospects on day three.

    South Africa lead 1-0 and will make sure they remain the top ranked Test nation if they clinch the three-test series.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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