Proteas into commanding position at lunch on day three

AB de Villiers of the Proteas celebrates scoring 100 runs during day 3 of the 2nd Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and Australia at St Georges Park on March 11, 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
AB de Villiers of the Proteas celebrates scoring 100 runs during day 3 of the 2nd Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and Australia at St Georges Park on March 11, 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

AB de Villiers scored his 22nd Test century to steer South Africa into a commanding position at lunch.

The 34-year-old underlined his brilliance with a century of the highest quality as South Africa were dismissed for 382 shortly before the break.

That gave the Proteas an overall lead of 139 runs on the first innings.

De Villiers finished not out on 126 in an innings which lasted 146 balls and featured 20 fours and one sixes.

The Proteas’ last three wickets produced 155 runs as the Aussies appeared to fall flat in the field.

South Africa started day three on 263 for seven and De Villiers and Vernon Philander added another 48 runs.

Their valuable partnership of 84 for the eighth wicket was broken when Philander was brilliantly caught by Cameron Bancroft at short square leg off the bowling of Pat Cummins for 36.

Shortly after that De Villiers went to his hundred with a ramp shot over the slip cordon for four.

Keshav Maharaj joined De Villiers after the departure of Philander and provided the small crowd with some entertainment. He swung lustily in making 30 off only balls clubbing three fours and two sixes with both the maximums coming off Nathan Lyon.

Maharaj lost his wicket trying one too many pull shots as a Josh Hazlewood delivery clipped the top of his off-stump.

Lungi Ngidi was the last man out‚ run out with a direct hit by Steve Smith for five.

Cummins ended the best of the Aussie bowlers claiming with three for 79.

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