Jan 6, 2009

Sport - Cricket;South Africa 62 for 1, need 314 runs for whitewash

Ricky Ponting's bold declaration on Tuesday injected drama into the third and final cricket Test which seems headed for a nail-biting finish with South Africa needing 314 runs on a tricky fifty day track to complete a rare 3-0 whitewash.
Set a daunting target of 376 runs, South Africa lost makeshift opener Morne Morkel for a second ball duck before reaching 62 for one at stumps on day four of the match.

Acting skipper Neil McKenzie (25) and in-form Hashim Amla (30) were in the middle with South Africa still needing another 314 runs for a memorable win that would also make them the number one Test side in the world.

With just one day left, South Africa may go for the target despite their captain Graeme Smith not being in a position to bat.

On the other hand, Australia will also fancy their chances of picking up the remaining wickets to prevent what could be their first whitewash at home.

Earlier, resuming on 33 for no loss, Australia declared their second essay at 257 for four wickets with Simon Katich (61), Ponting (53), Mike Hussey (45 not out) and Michael Clarke (41) scoring bulk of the runs.

Matthew Hayden, under tremendous pressure to justify his selection in the playing XI, squandered a good start and fell for 39.

Hayden dragged a Morkel delivery onto the stumps to depart after what turned out to be his highest score of the summer.

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