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Kallis impressed with Malan as Proteas chase record total

Day four of the second Test against England ended with South Africa on 126/2 and needing 312 runs to win with 8 wickets remaining.

South Africa's Pieter Malan (R) celebrates after scoring a half-century (50 runs) as umpire Paul Reiffel (L) looks on during the fourth day of the second Test cricket match between South Africa and England at the Newlands stadium in Cape Town on 6 January 2020. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Proteas batting consultant Jacques Kallis admitted that it would be tough for South Africa to chase down the victory target of 438 set by England but believed that all three results were possible.

England launched a good fightback against the Proteas on day four of the second Test at Newlands on Monday.

The visitor's second innings saw captain Joe Root declare on 391-8, thanks to a maiden Test century from Dominic Sibley who finished unbeaten on 133 (311 balls, 19 fours and a six).

Root's decision left the Proteas with a world record target of 438 in a minimum of 146 overs and Kallis said it would not be easy but it was doable.

"I've seen strange things from this game - all three results are still possible. It's going to be tough for us to chase it down and victory is certainly not something we are ruling out," said Kallis.

"I guess we are going to bat normally and see where the game is taking us. Our plan is to face as many balls as we can."

The Proteas made a steady start to their chase with Pieter Malan and Dean Elgar putting on 71 for the first wicket – the first half-century opening partnership for the Proteas in almost a year. Zubayr Hamza lost his wicket for 18 runs.

Day four ended with South Africa on 126/2 and needing 312 runs to win, with Malan not out at 63, his maiden Test half-century in his debut at his home ground.

Kallis praised Malan's ability to stand firm and said he showed good technique and character.

"It's his first Test but it didn't look so; he knows his game very well from the first runs he's got. I'm very impressed by the fight he showed - he showed good technique," he said.

"He obviously knows how to switch on and off - he's very organised, a fighter... exactly what you want at the top of the order in a situation like this.

"The capabilities he got from playing first-class cricket helped and he knows his game very well."