Philander fastest Protea to the 100-wicket mark

NICK SAID
Last updated 02:06 21/12/2013
Vernon Philander
Getty Images

MILESTONE BALL: Vernon Philander celebrates taking his 100th wicket in his 19th test on day three of the first test at Wanderers.

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Paceman Vernon Philander became the fastest South African to take 100 test wickets today but India can claim the ascendancy at lunch on the third day of the first test at the Wanderers.

Philander reached his milestone with the only Indian wicket to fall in the morning session as the tourists went to the interval on 31 for one in their second innings, an overall lead of 67 on an increasingly difficult wicket for the batsmen.

The paceman claimed his 100th victim in his 19th test when Shikhar Dhawan (15) steered the ball to Jacques Kallis at second slip, who took his 199th catch in test cricket.

Philander is the joint-sixth quickest to the milestone in test cricket and got to his century one match faster than South Africa's previous record-holder, Dale Steyn.

The home side were, however, dealt a serious blow to the victory chances four balls before the break when fast bowler Morne Morkel went over on his ankle and had to be helped from the field, his chances of more overs in this innings now looking remote.

The tourists had made short work of the South African tail in the morning session, despite a battling half-century from Philander, dismissing the hosts for 244 as they picked up the final four wickets for the addition of 31 runs from their overnight total.

Murali Vijay (12 not out) and Cheteshwar Pujara (four not out) will resume after lunch and will be hoping to build a sizeable lead with both teams admitting that chasing anything over 250 batting last on a wicket with variable bounce and plenty of movement will be a stern challenge.

Philander (59) resumed today with Faf de Plessis (20) and hit the first ball of the morning for four to reach his third test 50.

But he was the first to go when he edged Zaheer Khan to Ravichandran Ashwin at first slip, bringing an end to a seventh-wicket partnership of 80 with Du Plessis that rescued the home side from a somewhat precarious 146-6.

Steyn (10) was poached at slip by Rohit Sharma to become Ishant Sharma's fourth victim of the innings, before Zaheer had Du Plessis caught behind and bowled Morne Morkel (seven).

Zaheer finished with figures of 4-88, while Sharma was the pick of the bowlers with 4-79.

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- Reuters

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