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India's tour of South Africa 2006

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Lightbulb India's tour of South Africa 2006 - December 16th, 2006

1st Test: Day 1 India Vs South Africa

December 15, 2006




South Africa fast bowler Makhaya Ntini celebrates after getting the wicket of India opener Wasim Jaffer on day one of the first Test at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, on Friday.
Ntini struck early when Jaffer offered no stroke and was trapped leg before wicket for 9.
India, who won the toss and elected to bat, included VRV Singh ahead of Irfan Pathan while Harabhajan Singh was left out.


Dravid is hit on the chest by a short delivery from Shaun Pollock.
India lost both their openers quite early as Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar looked to steady things.
Earlier, damp spots on the pitch had delayed the start of the match by 90 minutes.




Tendulkar, though circumspect, worked the ball through the leg-side and kept the scoreboard ticking.
His innings was a good mix of caution and aggression as he scored 44 at a brisk rate before he was caught in the slips off Jacques Kallis.
Dravid was unbeaten on 30 from 73 balls and VVS Laxman on one as India recovered to 101 for three at tea on the opening day.






VVS Laxman played a positive innings of 28, punctuated by five boundaries, to steady the ship after Dravid's wicket.
Laxman, who has involved in a 46-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Sourav Ganguly, was out caught behind off Makhaya Ntini late in the day.






Coming back into the Test team after 10 months, Ganguly battled with determination against the South African pace attack.
Though the former captain was beaten on a number of occassions, he hung in there and was unbeaten on 14 at the close of play as India reached 156 for 5.


1st Test: Day 2
Zaheer, Sreesanth give India hope

India's pacemen gave the team a rousing start, reducing South Africa to 21 for three at lunch on the second day of the first Test at the Wanderers, on Saturday.

S Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan bowled with great intensity and discipline to scythe through the South African top order and bowl India right back into the game, after the visitors were dismissed for 249 in the morning. Sreesanth picked the wickets of Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla while Zaheer sent Herschelle Gibbs back.

Sourav Ganguly signalled his return to international cricket with an unbeaten half-century, the only of the Indian innings, even as the Indian lower order collapsed without a fight after the visitors resumed on 156 for five on the second morning.

Last-man VRV Singh's entertaining knock of 29 gave the Indian total a much-needed boost, and added 44 runs for the last wicket with Ganguly.

Shaun Pollock narrowly missed out on completing 400 Test wickets, as he finished with figures of four for 39, one short of the milestone.

Makhaya Ntini grabbed three for 57 while Andre Nel also added to his wickets tally, claiming the wicket of Anil Kumble.

Morning session

The Indian batsmen had an edgy start in the morning, with Kallis hitting the right length straightaway and Nel nailing them with pace and bounce.

But it was still Shaun Pollock who gave the hosts their moment of the morning.
The veteran player showed amazing commitment, diving full length and plucking the ball with his left hand to complete a catch and send back Mahendra Singh Dhoni for five.
Dhoni failed to keep the drive off Makhaya Ntini down before Pollock intercepted it.

Sourav Ganguly, who had faced the South African pace battery staunchly on Friday, once again survived the opening spell from Andre Nel and Makhaya Ntini in overcast conditions. Though Nel lacked the consistency, coming round the wicket to Ganguly, he made the ball move both ways to pose ample problems.

The left-hander, however, shrugged off the close calls and went after the loose deliveries. He picked Ntini from good length with minimal foot movement and sent the ball into the stands for India's first six of the innings.

Anil Kumble tried to battle it out in the middle but the relentless South African bowling got the better of him. After surviving a difficult dropped chance by Herschelle Gibbs in slips, Kumble once again left his bat hanging to Nel. He couldn't get his bat out of the way as the ball shaped in and took a thick edge to Jacques Kallis at second slip.

Ganguly guided India past 200, but there wasn't much to the lower order.

Zaheer Khan (9) was trapped leg before wicket by Pollock as the batsman went down on one knee in an attempt to sweep. Zaheer missed the ball completely and it hit him full on middle and leg stump. Sreesanth followed two balls later for no score.

VRV Singh then breathed some excitement into the dreary morning. The young Punjab lad threw his bat around, stood outside the leg stump and, with exaggerated foot movement, added on some vital runs on the board. He lived dangerously, and his edges seemed to inevitably land between fielders.

The 22-year-old's antics left the bowlers bemused, and Graeme Smith was forced to spread his field for the first time in the Indian innings. VRV motored along to 29 from 19 balls, with the help of six fours, to add a positive footnote to the Indian effort.

Meanwhile, Ganguly carved out a well-deserved half-century. The 33-year-old worked the ball to the leg-side for a single to bring up his 26th Test fifty. He was unbeaten on 51 from 101 balls when Pollock finally brought VRV's adventure to an end with a slower ball.
Ganguly and VRV Singh slammed 44 runs in 5.5 overs for the last wicket to swell the Indian total to 249.

South Africa innings

India's new-ball bowlers gave the team a rousing start, snapping the South African openers inside three overs.

Sreesanth set the ball rolling with the wicket of skipper Smith. Pitching the ball just short of length, he got the ball to move in and strike the pads to trap Smith leg before wicket.

With the pitch juicing up under an overcast sky, Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan got the new ball to swing and, more importantly, forced the batsmen into false shots. The Indian bowlers, who had got early wickets even in the One-day series, used the conditions better than the home bowlers to raise India's hopes of a great comeback.

Zaheer had Herschelle Gibbs flashing at a slightly wide delivery, with Virender Sehwag taking the catch at gully while Sreesanth lured Amla into a drive, the edge carrying to VVS Laxman in the slips.

India were denied a huge scalp, when umpire Daryl Harper turned down a confident shout for lbw against Jacques Kallis.

Zaheer got the ball to straighten from middle and off and hit the back leg plumb in front of the stumps, but the umpire ruled in favour of the batsmen.

As if rubbing insult to injury, Kallis followed it up with two elegant drives for four.
Kallis and Ashwell Prince were unbeaten on 12 and one respectively, as South Africa recovered from five for three to 21 for three.


South Africa All Out for 84
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Thumbs up Re: India's tour of South Africa 2006 - December 17th, 2006

1st Test: Day 2


India's wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored only five runs before being dismissed by Makhaya Ntini.
Dhoni appeared to get behind the line of the deliveries before an absolutely stunning catch in the outfield sent him back into the dressing room.
Dhoni made a cracking off-drive off Ntini and Pollock (4-39) at mid-off threw himself full-stretched to catch the chance inches off the ground.






Last man VRV Singh was comical but effective in smashing 29 off 26 balls and put on 44 runs from 35 balls with the irrepressible Sourav Ganguly (51) as the visitors, starting the day at 156 for 5, added 93 further runs.









Ganguly was outstanding in his comeback innings and despite his dour vigil also played several pleasing strokes, including a pulled six off Ntini.
In all, his unbeaten knock of 51 spanned nearly three hours and consumed 101 balls, studded with four fours and a six.
The last-wicket stand stretched the Indian total to 249.




The pace bowlers gave India a good starts as Sreesanth dismissed Graeme Smith (5) leg before wicket in the second over.
Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan rattled the hosts with three strikes without any additional run and reduced the hosts to 21 for 3 at lunch in reply to India's first innings score of 249.



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Thumbs up Re: India's tour of South Africa 2006 - December 17th, 2006

Sreesanth celebrates the wicket of Kallis who was caught in the second slip by Laxman for 12.



Pollock (5) made it a first fiver for Sreesanth as he missed a delivery heading on to his stumps.
Young Sreesanth bowled a dream spell to take his first five-wicket haul as South Africa were bowled out for 84 in 25-odd overs at the stroke of tea.




Pollock, a former captain, claimed Sachin Tendulkar (14) who inside-edged a delivery that kept relatively low during India's second innings.
Earlier Pollock became the 10th player to scalp 400 victims in Test cricket when he had Indian captain Rahul Dravid (1) caught in the slips.





VVS Laxman, unbeaten on 42, along with Sourav Ganguly (25) built on the advantage with a 58-run stand to extend India's overall lead to 311 runs.
Dhoni on 17 was giving company to Laxman at close.



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Thumbs up Re: India's tour of South Africa 2006 - December 17th, 2006

1st Test: Day 2
India have South Africa under siege



After a dream spell by S Sreesanth helped snatch the advantage, India's batsmen stretched the lead to 311 runs to raise hopes of a maiden Indian victory in South Africa, at the end of the second day of the first Test, in Johannesburg, on Saturday.

VVS Laxman, with an unbeaten 42, steadied the second innings as India ended the day on 146 for five in 35 overs.

Sreesanth bagged his first five-wicket haul as India bundled out South Africa for 84 in the first innings. His effort of 5 for 40 was just the dose of energy the team needed to pick itself up on the disappointing tour. Sreesanth was brilliatnly supported by Zaheer Khan, who finished with two wickets for 32 runs.

Earleir, Sourav Ganguly signalled his return to international cricket with an unbeaten half-century and rallied the team to 249 even as the Indian lower order collapsed without a fight after resuming on 156 for five on the second morning.

Shaun Pollock crossed the milestone of 400 Test wickets with the scalp of India's captain Rahul Dravid. Pollock and Andre Nel took two wickets each in India's second innings.

Morning session
The Indian batsmen had an edgy start in the morning with Kallis hitting the right length straightaway and Nel nailing them with pace and bounce.

But it was still Shaun Pollock who gave the hosts their moment of the morning.
The veteran player showed amazing commitment, diving full length and plucking the ball with his left hand to complete a catch to send Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who failed to keep the drive off Makhaya Ntini down, back to the pavilion for five.

Ganguly, who had faced the South African pace battery staunchly on Friday, once again survived the opening spell from Nel and Ntini in overcast conditions. Though Nel lacked consistency, coming round the wicket to Ganguly, he made the ball move both ways and posed ample problems.

The left-hander, however, shrugged off the close calls and went after the loose deliveries. He picked up Ntini from good length with minimal foot movement and sent the ball into the stands for India's first six of the innings.

Anil Kumble tried to battle it out in the middle, but the relentless South African bowling got the better of him. After surviving a difficult dropped chance by Herschelle Gibbs in the slips, Kumble once again left his bat hanging to Nel. He couldn't get it out of the way as the ball shaped in and took a thick edge to Jacques Kallis at second slip.

Ganguly guided India past 200, but there wasn't much to the lower order.

Zaheer (9) was trapped leg before wicket by Pollock as he went down on one knee in an attempt to sweep. He missed the ball completely and it hit him full on middle and leg stump. Sreesanth followed two balls later for no score.

VRV then breathed some excitement into the dreary morning. The young Punjab lad threw his bat around, stood outside the leg stump and, with exaggerated foot movement, added some vital runs on the board. He lived dangerously, and his edges seemed to inevitably land between fielders.

The 22-year-old's antics left the bowlers bemused, and Graeme Smith was forced to spread his field for the first time in the Indian innings. He motored along to 29 from 19 balls, inclusive of six fours, to add a positive footnote to the Indian effort.

Meanwhile, Ganguly carved out a well-deserved half-century. The 33-year-old worked the ball to the leg-side for a single to bring up his 26th Test fifty. He was unbeaten on 51 from 101 balls when Pollock finally brought VRV's adventure to an end.

Ganguly and VRV slammed 44 runs in 5.5 overs for the last wicket to swell the Indian total to 249.


South Africa innings
India's new-ball bowlers gave the team a rousing start, snapping the South African openers inside three overs.

Sreesanth set the ball rolling with the wicket of skipper Smith. Pitching the ball just short of length, Sreesanth got the ball to move in and strike the pads and trap Smith leg before wicket.

With the pitch juicing up under an overcast sky, Sreesanth and Zaheer got the new ball to swing and, more importantly, forced the batsmen into false shots. The Indian bowlers, who had got early wickets even in the One-day series, used the conditions better than the home bowlers to raise India's hopes of a great comeback.

Zaheer had Herschelle Gibbs flashing at slightly wide delivery, and Sehwag taking the catch at gully, while Sreesanth lured Amla into a drive, the edge carrying to Laxman in the slips.

India were denied a huge scalp, when umpire Daryl Harper turned down a confident shout for lbw against Kallis. Zaheer got the ball to straighten from middle and off and hit the back leg plumb in front of the stumps, but the umpire ruled in favour of the batsman.

As if rubbing insult to injury, Kallis followed it up with two elegant drives for four.

Kallis and Ashwell Prince were unbeaten on 12 and one respectively at lunch, as South Africa recovered from five for three to 21 for three.


Post-lunch session
South Africa had no answer to Sreesanth's precision as he ran through their batting line-up.

Bowling with an upright seam, the Kerala bowler had Kallis on the third ball after lunch to send alarm bells ringing in the opposition camp. He drew Kallis forward and the ball clipped the shoulder of the bat before Laxman took a low catch at second slip.
The Indian bowled with infectious enthusiasm, and went on to take his first five-wicket haul in Tests. Sreesanth bowled Mark Boucher and had Pollock leg before wicket to reduce South Africa to 45 for seven.

Prince and Nel tried to stem the rot with a partnership of 39 runs. Prince looked to plug one end while Nel tried to muscle out of the situation with some meaty blows. Even with his team precariously placed, Nel went for his shots like it were the slog overs in a one-day game.

Sreesanth, flying high after his sensational opening burst, was nonchalantly taken for a four and six off successive deliveries.

If Nel can be irritating with his incessant smirks while bowling, he was cheekier with the helmet on. The bowler provided the needle, even sticking out his tongue to Sreesanth and challenging the bowler to have a go at him.

The stand between Prince and Nel was the only spark for the hosts, but Kumble extinguished it as soon as he was brought into the attack.

India, who have often let oppositions off the hook after getting early wickets, never let South Africa ease into the game. With the Indian pacers tiring out and VRV, playing only his third Test, not being able to keep a lid on the scoring, Rahul Dravid called India's biggest match winner -- Anil Kumble into the attack.

The pitch had already manifested the uneven bounce, and Kumble scalped Prince with a googly in his second over. Prince, playing for the spin, closed the face of the bat and ended up edging the ball to the wicketkeeper.

Kumble trapped Ntini in front of the wickets with a flatter, faster next delivery.
The last three South African wickets fell without adding to the score as VRV got the last man Nel, caught by Zaheer past mid-off for 21.


Post-Tea session
India's middle-order again came to the rescue after South Africa picked up a few early wickets.

Opener Wasim Jaffer again failed to get among the runs, as he edged Nel into the slips. India's captain Dravid followed three overs later in a similar fashion off Pollock.

Though South Africa got the early wickets, the length employed by Nel and Ntini with the new ball still left the team searching for answers after a shocking batting performance. The bowlers went for too much and overdid the short ball.

Sehwag, who employed the upper cut to great effect, was racing at more than run a ball before Nel clipped his flight. Sehwag opened the face of the bat and ran the ball straight into the hands of Gibbs at slips.

It was left to the big three -- Sachin Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly to guide India from thereon.

Tendulkar, after getting the start, again gave away his wicket, chopping a delivery from Pollock onto the stumps.

Ganguly, having scored the only fifty of the match so far, once again applied himself well. On a pitch that claimed 19 wickets in a day, Laxman and Ganguly combined well to thwart the South African attack. Their partnership was characterized by free-flowing drives and the pitch suddenly seemed to change complexion as the batsmen started calling the shots.

The two were involved in a 58-run partnership that sagged the spirit of the South Africans.
Though Ganguly was out, flirting with a widish delivery from Ntini for 25, Laxman carried on unruffled.

Laxman was unbeaten on 42 off 85 balls, inclusive of eight fours, and Dhoni had slammed thee fours already to race to 17 from 18 balls when stumps were drawn.



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Wink Re: India's tour of South Africa 2006 - December 17th, 2006

Day 3: S Africa struggling at 163 for 5 at stumps
Johannesburg, December 17, 2006


At stumps, South Africa were 163/5 in their second innings on the third day of the first Test against India at the Wanderers on Sunday. India looked to create history by winning their first Test match on the South African soil.

South Africa began their second innings on a disappointing note. Herschelle Gibbs returned to the pavilion without any score just before lunch-break.

Sreesanth looked to repeat his good form from the first innings by picking three crucial wickets for India. After losing one wicket early, the hosts suffered constant setbacks as Smith (10), Amla (17) and Kallis (27) gave in to Sreesanth's fiery pace attack.

Ashwell Prince was the sole South African batsman to offer some resistance to the Indian bowlers by scoring an unbeaten 54.

Earlier, India were all out for 236 in their second innings. Recalled Indian batsman VVS Laxman was the top scorer with 73 runs.

However, swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni failed to impress, falling prey to Shaun Pollock early in the match. Andre Nel attacked the Indian lower order, packing off spinner Anil Kumble cheaply.

Laxman, though, steered India past the 200-run mark along with Zaheer Khan. But the South African ace Makhaya Ntini ended the visitors' spell by picking three quick wickets -- Laxman (73), Zaheer (37) and VRV Singh (11).

After dispatching South Africa for a paltry 84 runs on the second day of the three-Test series, India took a 311-run lead.


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Thumbs up Re: India's tour of South Africa 2006 - December 17th, 2006

1st Test: Day 3



VVS Laxman scored a disciplined 73 off 154 balls with 12 fours as India handed South Africa a victory target of 402 in the first Test in Jonhannesburg on Sunday.
The visitors reduced South Africa to 163 for five at the end of day three to bring India in sight of a historic win.


















\
Zaheer Khan showed rare patience of a tailender, scoring 37 in 80 balls.
Laxman and Zaheer stopped the slide with a stand of 70 for the eighth wicket that was ended when fast bowler Makhaya Ntini had Laxman well caught low down by Graeme Smith at first slip.









S Sreesanth and South Africa fast bowler Andre Nel carried on their little battle from Saturday to provide some entertainment.
Nel came out and bounced Sreesanth and then called on the batsman to take on the challenge. Sreesanth replied by charging down the track and hitting the ball straight over the bowlers' head for a six and then celebrated by twirling his bat while glaring at the bowler.
The young and restless duo of Sreesanth and VRV Singh added 16 runs for the last wicket before the latter was run-out.





Sreesanth added to his haul of wickets to enhance India's dominant position in the first Test.
Sreesanth (3 for 47) and Zaheer Khan (1 for 44) bowled tirelessly for 17 overs each as India took control for the opening Test. South Africa need another 239 runs to script the biggest succesful chase at the Wanderers.








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Thumbs up Re: India's tour of South Africa 2006 - December 17th, 2006

1st Test: Day 3


Jacques Kallis goes down to a bouncer.
The top South African batsam (27) tried to consolidate the innings in the company of Ashwell Prince after India had made early inroads





Abraham DeVilliers reaches for the crease.
De Villiers, who was coasting along on 17, gifted India the fifth wicket as he was run-out by a long way. He called for a quick single after turning the ball to mid-on, but Zaheer dashed in and shattered the stumps with a direct throw.





Ashwell Prince (54) and Mark Boucher (23) stalled India's progress in the last session with a partnership of 43.
Prince, who had scored a battling 24 amidst the first innings ruins, again concentrated hard and kept the Indian pacemen at bay. He was the mainstay of the South African middle order and batted with patience, something lacking in most of his fellow-batsmen.



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Re: India's tour of South Africa 2006
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Prakash Pohwani
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prakash_dudes
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Thumbs up Re: India's tour of South Africa 2006 - December 17th, 2006

1st Test: Day 3
India Pressing For Historic Win !!!!!!




Fast bowler S Sreesanth extended his dream run in the match to carry India to the threshold of a historic victory in the first Test against South Africa. By the end of the third day, in Johannesburg on Sunday, South Africa, chasing 402 for victory, were reduced to 163 for five.

Sreesanth (3 for 47) and Zaheer Khan (1 for 44) bowled tirelessly for 17 overs each as India took control for the opening Test.

South Africa need another 239 runs to script the biggest successful chase at the Wanderers after being blown away for 84 in the first innings.

Ashwell Prince (54) and Mark Boucher (23) stalled India's progress in the last session with a partnership of 43.

Earlier, VVS Laxman scored an elegant fifty to stretch the lead to 401, as India finished at 236 in the second innings.

A 70-run stand between Laxman (73) and Zaheer (37) shattered the spirits of the South African bowlers after they had grabbed early wickets in the day.

Shaun Pollock, Andre Nel and Makhaya Ntini picked three wickets each but could not stop India from running away with a commanding lead.

The hosts will have to rewrite history to come back and win the Test; the highest fourth innings score at the Wanderers is 351 for five, by England, while chasing 479 in 1995-96.


Morning session
India, resuming on 146 for five, lost Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Anil Kumble for the addition for just two runs to the overnight score.

Having completed a tally of 400 Test wickets, Pollock did the honours early in the morning by scalping Dhoni for 18. Kumble was out driving away from his body to Andre Nel and was caught by Ashwell Prince at point to give South Africa a window of hope early on.

But Laxman and Zaheer all but shut doors on the home team with a steady partnership.
The Hyderabadi curbed his shots early in the day and guided his partner through the tough opening hour. Having made a remarkable comeback to the Indian team, Zaheer made his presence felt with the bat as well, leaving alone the teasing deliveries and got his eye in much to the frustration of the South African bowlers.

Laxman, following his 28 in the first innings, posted the highest individual score in the match so far with a well-complied 73 off 154 balls. With the South Africans bowling a yard too short, he scored 29 runs through the arc between third man and point, including four boundaries.

Graeme Smith's desperation was evident as he brought himself into the attack. But he was quickly taken apart by Zaheer, who slammed him for two fours and two sixes as India accelerated in the last 30 minutes.

Makhaya Ntini though cut short the sojourn when he had Laxman and Zaheer within the space of two deliveries.

Returning for his second spell of the morning, Ntini bowlerd further up to draw the batsmen to nick the ball.

Though India only lasted another 10 balls, S Sreesanth and Nel carried on their little battle from Saturday to provide some entertainment.

Nel came out and bounced Sreesanth and then called on the batsman to take on the challenge. Sreesanth replied by charging down the track and hitting the ball straight over the bowlers' head for a six and then celebrated by twirling his bat while glaring at the bowler.

The young and restless duo of Sreesanth and VRV Singh added 16 runs for the last wicket before the latter was run-out while going for an improbable second.


Post-Lunch session
South Africa came out after lunch looking to make amends for the first innings disaster. Captain Graeme Smith, who is a nervous starter, had huge responsibility to lead his team to safety. But the opener threw away his wicket after a cautious start. He reached for a wide delivery from Sreesanth and Sehwag took a good diving catch at point.

Smith shared a 22-run stand with Hashim Amla, who was next to go for 17. Though the batsmen fared better than they had in the first essay and looked more comfortable at the crease, it didn't help South Africa's cause, leaving the lower and middle order to face a daunting task.

Jacques Kallis tried to smooth the lines in typically unruffled fashion. He combined well with the left-handed Ashwell Prince to halt India's march in the session.

Zaheer Khan bowled another outstanding opening spell, but had a couple of close decisions ruled against him. He finished the session with figures of 19 for 1 in eight overs.

Sreesanth was again the pick of the bowlers, maintaining a consistent, probing line. The delivery that he got Amla out with, landed on the perfect length and forced the batsman to play and edge the ball to the wicketkeeper.

With India making early inroads, Kallis and Prince were left stalling the Indian assault before they could begin looking for runs. Prince, batting to a packed off-side field, squeezed out five runs in 36 balls and Kallis was unbeaten on 24 from 59 balls when tea was called.

India were unable to maintain the intensity after Sreesanth and Zaheer were off the attack. Dravid also introduced Sourav Ganguly into the attack, but the former skipper was taken for 11 runs from the over, including two fours by Kallis.


Post-Tea session
Sreesanth broke through Kallis' defences, as he lured an edge from South Africa's top batsman with an out-swinger to peg the hosts back early in the session. Kallis' resistance lasted 72 balls, as the all-rounder, with Prince, posted South Africa's first 50-run partnership.

Prince, who had scored a battling 24 amidst the first innings ruins, again concentrated hard and kept the Indian pacemen at bay. He was the mainstay of the South African middle order and batted with patience, something lacking in most of his fellow-batsmen.

Since South Africa's first innings had lasted only 25.1 overs, Zaheer and Sreesanth coming up with a sensational performance, the other bowlers didn't have much to do. But the second time around, when the home batsmen came up with a better show, the lack of thrust in India's bowling was evident.

Sreesanth and Zaheer did most of the hard work, bowling long spells, as VRV Singh, playing his third Test, failed to make an impression.

The pitch eased out considerably in the afternoon, and though Anil Kumble got a few to rip past the batsmen, he was unable to convert them into wickets.

Abraham De Villiers, who was coasting along on 17, gifted India the fifth wicket as he was run-out by a long way. He called for a quick single after turning the ball to mid-on, but Zaheer dashed in and shattered the stumps with a direct throw.

South Africa would have been in greater trouble had Daryl Harper upheld a confident shout by Sreesanth against Prince. With the batsman on 44, Sreesanth got one to angle away from him and it looked liked the ball carried a faint nick on the way to the wicketkeeper. But the umpire felt otherwise and Prince went on to score his fourth Test fifty.

With the Indian bowlers tiring out, and the kookaburra ball hardly helping reverse swing, the South African batsmen could breathe easier and opened up to play a few shots.

After doing all the hard work early on, Mark Boucher, strangely, decided to have a go in the last over of the day. He pulled Sreesanth over mid-wicket for four, survived a very close call for caught behind (umpire Harper again ruling in the favour of the batsman) and swirled to hook, the ball ballooning in the air before falling short of Zaheer Khan at deep square leg.

Prince and Boucher survived for 14 overs, building a partnership of 43 runs, but a more daunting task lies ahead of them as they enter the fourth day of the Test with a deficit of 239 runs with only five wickets left.



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Re: India's tour of South Africa 2006
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Prakash Pohwani
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Thumbs up Re: India's tour of South Africa 2006 - December 18th, 2006

1st Test: Day 4
India Cantered to a Historic 123-run Victory over South Africa in the First Test





Khan celebrates with team mates after claiming the wicket of Mark Boucher on day four of the first Test in Johannesburg on Monday.
India bowled out South Africa for 278 in their second innings to win the match by 123 runs and register their first Test victory in South Africa.
The Test will be remembered for Sourav Ganguly's return to the national fold with aplomb after being in the wilderness for nearly a year.
Ganguly hit an unbeaten 51 in the first innings to propel India to 249, while in the second innings it was VVS Laxman (73) who held the innings together to take the visitors to 236 and handy lead of 401.

Shaun Pollock scored 22 runs, including a six off Zaheer, off the first nine balls he faced.
He added 67 runs for the seventh wicket with Ashwell Prince to delay India's victory charge.
Kumble ended the stand by bowling him for 40. Pollock's innings included six fours and a six. His rearguard action was like the flicker in a dying flame.



Kumble celebrates after claiming the wicket of Prince.
Prince advanced down the pitch and was bowled after a fine knock of 97.
Kumble finished with three wickets for 54 runs in the second innings.



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Re: India's tour of South Africa 2006
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prakash_dudes
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Thumbs up Re: India's tour of South Africa 2006 - December 18th, 2006

1st Test: Day 4
India Cantered to a Historic 123-run Victory over South Africa in the First Test





The Indian team celebrates after bagging the final wicket.
Makhaya Ntini slashed a delivery from Zaheer straight to Virender Sehwag to end the match and give India their first ever Test win in South Africa.
The Test was India's 10th in South Africa since their inaugural series in the country in 1992-93.



India bowled out South Africa for 278 and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The Indian players erupted in joy as they celebrated just days after being routed 0-4 in the one-day series.
After winning the Test series in the West Indies in July for the first time since 1971 -- the first outside the subcontinent for 20 years -- India tasted its maiden Test success in South Africa.
India had lost four and drawn five of the nine Tests on their three previous visits to South Africa.



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