PORT ELIZABETH, March 11 (Reuters) - AB de Villiers scored an unbeaten century as South Africa took a commanding first innings lead of 139 runs over Australia at lunch on the third day of the second test at St George’s Park on Sunday.
South Africa added 118 runs to their overnight total of 264 for seven wickets in a busy morning session as de Villiers notched up his 22nd test century in a return to form that could prove pivotal in the test.
The talismanic batsman had not scored a ton in his last 13 tests but his 126 not out helped the home side put on more than 150 runs for the last three wickets.
South Africa were eventually out for 382 just before lunch with Australia to start their second innings after the break.
De Villiers featured in an 84-run partnership with Vernon Philander for the eighth wicket as the pair saw off any potential impact of the new ball from an Australian attack that looked tired after their exertions on Saturday.
Philander added 22 to his overnight tally before being caught at short leg by Cameron Bancroft off Pat Cummins for 36.
De Villiers went to his century soon after with an audacious shot over the slips as he was joined by Keshav Maharaj, who swatted at the Australian bowling to score 30 off 24 balls before he was bowled by Josh Hazlewood.
The partnership for the ninth wicket yielded a further 58 runs to the frustration of the tourists.
Australia scored 243 in their first innings.
The tourists were victors in the last week’s first test in Durban at the start of the four-match series. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)