Rudolph saves Proteas

A fighting century by Jacques Rudolph has helped guide South Africa to a hard-fought draw in the first Test against Australia at the WACA Ground.

Rudolph, unbeaten on 102, batted for more than seven hours and faced 283 balls, helping the Proteas survive a final day barrage from the Australian attack and post 5-287 in their second innings.

The visitors began the day at 2-85, chasing a massive 491 runs for victory and with a mission in mind - surviving 90 overs.

Brett Lee claimed a well-deserved wicket in the 13th over of the day when Herschelle Gibbs edged him to Shane Warne at first slip for 33.

Warne was brought on in the next over, and thought he had Ashwell Prince caught on three only for umpire Billy Doctrove to deny him.

But Warne soon had his man, trapping Prince lbw for eight with a ripping delivery shortly before lunch.

The visitors continued to defend after the break, frustrating the Australian attack.

Justin Kemp was fortunate on 11 when an attempted sweep shot off Warne clipped his glove and landed just short of Andrew Symonds.

He then survived a huge lbw appeal from the champion spinner, with the ball pitching just outside leg stump.

Rudolph brought up his half-century in the middle session, but a mix-up between he and Kemp gave Glenn McGrath a chance to run out Kemp, but he threw wide.

Rudolph was almost caught when he edged Warne onto his pad, with the ball falling just short of the diving Michael Hussey.

Hopes for an Australian victory were boosted when Warne removed Kemp for 55, cleverly caught one-handed by Ricky Ponting, ending a 112-run partnership with Rudolph.

However, it was too little too late.

Rudolph brought up his century and combined with Mark Boucher to survive the remaining overs.

Warne toiled all day, extracting plenty of turn from the pitch to finish with 3-83 from 47 overs.

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