IND V SA: Proteas 105/4 at lunch

Skipper Hashim Amla was unbeaten on 28 and Faf du Plessis was on 23, with the tourists still 205 runs away from a win with six wickets in hand.

Ravichandran Ashwin and captain Virat Kohli celebrate the wicket of Dean Elgar on the third day of the third cricket Test match.   -  K. R. Deepak

South Africa, set a victory target of 310 runs, were 105 for four in their second innings at lunch on the third day of the third Test against India in Nagpur on Friday.

Skipper Hashim Amla was unbeaten on 28 and Faf du Plessis was on 23, with the tourists still 205 runs away from a win with six wickets in hand. The Proteas need a win to level the four-match series after losing the first Test in Mohali by 108 runs. The rain-hit second game in Bangalore was drawn.

Amla and Du Plessis batted for more than an hour to put on an unbroken stand of 47 for the fifth wicket after India had grabbed two early wickets to make it 58-4.

Amla, whose highest score in the series is 43, negotiated 93 deliveries to return unbeaten on 28. Du Plessis was on 23, which included a six off Ravindra Jadeja.

South Africa will return after lunch still 205 runs away from levelling the four-match series on a difficult batting wicket. A target of more than 300 runs has been chased successfully just once on Indian soil — by the home team who made 387-4 to defeat England in Chennai in 2008.

Prolific off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin struck in the day's fourth over when left-hander Dean Elgar edged a ball off the pad to Cheteshwar Pujara at silly-point after making 18. AB de Villiers, the world's top-ranked Test and one-day batsman, made nine during an uncomfortable 21-ball stay when he was deceived by a straight ball from Ashwin and was trapped in front of the wicket.

India won the first Test in Mohali by 108 runs, while the second in Bangalore was washed out by rain after the opening day's play.

The fourth and final Test will be played at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground in New Delhi from December 3.

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