AB de Villiers a class above as Australia watch Test slip away
Port Elizabeth: Australia are very much on the back foot in the second Test after an invincible AB de Villiers blazed away and combined with the South African tail to establish a bulky first-innings lead.
Leading by 20 runs overnight, the Proteas built the advantage to 139 as de Villiers (126 not out) brought up his 22nd Test hundred and received very handy support from Vernon Philander (36) and Keshav Maharaj (30) in the lower order.
Having been 6-183 the previous afternoon, South Africa added 198 for their final four wickets – and 118 in the session prior to lunch on Sunday before being bowled out for 382. The frustrated and helpless Australian team watched on as the game swiftly got away from them.
A magnificent de Villiers was chiefly to blame, with Steve Smith having to resort to simply stationing most of his fieldsmen back near the fence as the batsman showed no sign of getting out. Even with only the bowler, wicketkeeper and one slip not positioned on the boundary, he still found a way of hitting the rope.
The 34-year-old has only been dismissed once in this series so far, and that was due to the mid-pitch confusion with Aiden Markram in Durban that saw him run out. No wonder David Warner and Nathan Lyon celebrated so exuberantly when they left him stranded without scoring in the second innings at Kingsmead.