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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 December 2005, 09:50 GMT
Aussies denied by defiant Rudolph
First Test, Perth, day five: Australia 258 & 528-8 dec drew with South Africa 296 & 287-5

Jacques Rudolph and Shane Warne
This is massive for him
SA skipper Graeme Smith on Jacques Rudolph

Jacques Rudolph batted through the final day for an unbeaten 102 to earn a draw for South Africa in the first Test against Australia at Perth.

They looked doomed to defeat at 138-4 after being set a remote target of 491 by home skipper Ricky Ponting.

But Justin Kemp (55) helped Rudolph add 112 for the fifth wicket and, just as importantly, use up 52 overs.

Kemp was eventually lbw to Shane Warne, but Rudolph stood firm as the tourists played out time to reach 287-5.

It was a tremendous performance by the left-hander, who went into the game in good form after making 201 not out against Western Australia, but owed his place to Jacques Kallis's absence because of an elbow injury.

Leg-spinner Warne was the main threat as he looped the ball into foot marks outside Rudolph's off stump, but he could not find a way through a tight defensive technique.

And the 24-year-old rounded things off with a cover drive off Warne five overs before the end which brought him his 13th boundary and his first Test century since 2004.

South Africa began the day on 85-2 and lost two wickets before the lunch interval as Herschelle Gibbs was caught at slip off Brett Lee for 33 and Ashwell Prince was adjudged lbw to Warne for eight.

But Kemp, making his first Test appearance since a 2001 tour to the West Indies, provided the support Rudolph required, and proving he is more than just a big-hitting one-day specialist in the process.

Justin Kemp
Kemp fends off a short delivery from paceman Lee

He should have been run out on 26 as the pair were involved in a mix-up but went on to register a maiden Test half century.

The pair were finally separated in the final session when a well pitched-up delivery from Warne struck Kemp on the boot and he was adjudged lbw.

Any hopes of a sudden collapse were quickly snuffed out as Mark Boucher joined Rudolph and helped play out the final overs for 13 not out.

Warne finished with figures of 3-83 from 47 overs and improved his recently acquired Test record to 89 wickets in the calendar year.

But Australia may have cause to reflect on the timing of their declaration on the fourth day after allowing Brad Hodge time to reach a double century.



SEE ALSO
Hodge shines as Aussies dominate
19 Dec 05 |  Cricket
Batsmen put Australia in control
18 Dec 05 |  Cricket
Australia hit back in Perth Test
17 Dec 05 |  Cricket
South Africa in Australia 2005-06
20 May 05 |  Future tour dates


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