South Africa 303 & 258 Australia 270 & 248-6: Boje throws a spinner in the works of Australia's victory plans

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The Independent Online

A stunning last hour turned a fascinating Test match on its head here yesterday.

Australia seemed to be in command as Michael Hussey and Damien Martyn added 165 for the third wicket and even the staunchest home supporters were resigned to defeat. South Africa had not taken a wicket for hours and the main bowlers were exhausted. Hussey and Martyn had batted exceptionally well and the main topic of conversation was Australia's ability to reach their target before stumps.

And then things started to happen. Hussey played back and was confounded by Nicky Boje's surprise turn. All South Africa roared an appeal and at last the umpire responded.

Andrew Symonds arrived and smashed a few runs whereupon Kallis withdrew his spinner and took the ball himself. His reward came as the all-rounder edged an outswinger. Adam Gilchrist lasted a single ball, tickling a snorter that a revived Ntini delivered from around the wicket. All this happened in just 10 minutes.

Australia were still 60 runs shy of victory and Justin Langer was in the pavilion recovering from concussion. Shane Warne arrived determined to continue playing his shots. By now Ntini was charging at the crease. Warne parried at a fast ball and was held behind the wicket. Events were unfolding at a electrifying pace. Brett Lee arrived and fenced at several deliveries before the umpires decided that the light was not good enough. At stumps the visitors needed another 44 runs to win with four wickets left to fall.

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