Peterson powers Proteas into strong lead as rain halts play

2013-12-29 14:55

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India: 334 all out (Vijay 97, Pujara 70, Rahane 51*, Steyn 6/100, Morkel 3/50)

South Africa: 497/8 (Kallis 115, De Villiers 74, A Petersen 62, R Peterson 61, Jadeja 5/138, Zaheer Khan 2/95)

South Africa leads by 163 runs

Rain halted proceedings on the fourth day of the second test between the Proteas and India but not before Robin Peterson had a say in the direction of the match with a rambunctious innings.

South Africa needed a jolt after the serene proceedings of the first session and Peterson was on hand to provide the fireworks. It swelled South Africa’s lead to more than 160, giving them leverage to declare should the weather abate. It will be the defining factor of the game.

Conditions aside, it was a superb innings from the under fire Peterson, who did not have a good outing with the ball. He more than returned the favour with some sumptuous cover drives and a stupendous reverse swept six over deep cover.

It was a shot of a man who enjoys his second suit of cricket. He is getting used to these counter-punching innings irrespective of the situation. His 44-ball half-century contained nine boundaries of varying types. It was about the substance and less about the style.

It was the same with Faf du Plessis, who came in at number eight due to Dale Steyn’s night-watchman promotion. He is getting used to the idea of batting with the tail but the confidence of his Johannesburg knock rubbed off on his performance today.

There was much more fluency and positivity, even though he was content to play second fiddle to Peterson. Their 110-run partnership also facilitated a change of ball after MS Dhoni persisted with the cherry he received at the start of the innings.

The ball was 146 overs old when umpire Steve Davis decided enough was enough. The ball looked like it had spent the majority of its lifetime in the sewer. When the new ball came, it sped to the boundary just as quickly as the Proteas stole a march on the visitors.

South Africa will be thinking declaration with inclement weather lurking.

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