Saturday, December 30, 2006

For the record: Day four in Durban

From Durban
Fast bowler Makhaya Ntini struck twice before bad light took another huge chunk out of play on the fourth day of the second Test between South Africa and India at Kingsmead on Friday.
India were 38 for two after being set to make 354 to win.
Ntini dismissed Virender Sehwag before tea and then claimed the key wicket of Indian captain Rahul Dravid after the interval, just eight balls before play was called off early for the fourth successive day, with 35 overs still due to be bowled.
Dravid, the victim of a dubious lbw decision in the first innings, appeared to be unlucky again. He was drawn forward by Ntini and was given out by umpire Asad Rauf, although replays suggested his bat had made contact with his pad and not the ball.
South Africa's declaration left India, leading the three-match series 1-0, with a nominal 146 overs to make the runs or keep out the bowlers but given the weather pattern it seems unlikely that a full day'splay will be possible on the final day Saturday, when 98 overs are scheduled to be bowled.
It was the fourth successive day on which bad light cut significantly into playing time. A total of 102 overs have already been lost -more than have been required for any of the three innings so far. More cloudy weather is predicted for Saturday with possible showers.
Needing a win to have a chance of taking the series, South Africa batted aggressively despite losing six wickets for 44 runs at one stage before lunch. Shaun Pollock made a stroke-filled 63 not out to enable South Africa to declare their second inningsat 265 for eight.
Pollock shared quick-scoring half-century stands with AndrewHall and Morne Morkel as South Africa recovered from a top order collapse. Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, India's exciting young fast bowler, took three of thewickets as South Africa collapsed from 99 for no wicket to 143 for six.
Sreesanth finished with four for 79, taking his tally for the series to 16. VRV Singh made the first breakthrough, dismissing AB de Villiers for 47, before Sreesanth, 23, took three wickets in eight balls to plunge the home team into trouble.
One of Sreesanth's victims was South African captain Graeme Smith, who emerged from a batting slump to make 58. Smith made his runs off 81 balls andhit 11 fours before trying to whip a straight ball through the leg side and having his off stump knocked back. But Pollock regained the initiative for South Africa in a 99-ball innings which included 10 fours.
Hall (21) helped him put on 70 in 68 minutes for the seventh wicket before Morkel (27) shared in a52-run stand in 50 minutes for the eighth wicket. The floodlights were turned on soon after India started their second innings. Both Sehwag and Wasim Jaffer edged balls which fell short of the slip cordon and Sehwag edged one for four atcatchable height through a vacant fourth slip, only to be caught off the nextball when he played forward defensively.
Dravid edged Andre Nel just short ofAndrew Hall at third slip before he had scored. But his luck ran out in thefourth over after the interval when he was given out. Replays suggested the ball had passed close to his bat without actually making contact. Jaffer, showing his best form of the tour, batted soundly to reach 22 not out.
Ntini took two for 14.
Scoreboard South Africa 1st innings 328
(A. Prince 121, H. Gibbs63, M. Boucher 53; S. Sreesanth 4-109)
India 1st innings 240 (S. Tendulkar 63,V. Laxman 50no)
South Africa 2nd innings 265 for 8
(S. Pollock 63no, G. Smith59; S. Sreesanth 4-80)
India 2nd innings
(Target: 354 runs)
W. Jaffer not out22 V. Sehwag c Smith b Ntini 8 R. Dravid c Boucher b Ntini 5 S. Tendulkar notout 0 Extras (b-2 lb-1) 3 Total (for 2 wickets, 13 overs) 38Fall of wickets:1-14 2-34To bat: V. Laxman, S. Ganguly, M. Dhoni, A. Kumble, Z. Khan, S.Sreesanth , V. Singh Bowling A. Nel 5 - 1 - 17 - 0 M. Ntini 6 - 2 - 14 - 2S. Pollock 2 - 1 - 4 - 0 8 R. Dravid c Boucher b Ntini 5 S. Tendulkar notout 0 Extras (b-2 lb-1) 3 Total (for 2 wickets, 13 overs) 38 Fall of wickets:1-14 2-34 To bat: V. Laxman, S. Ganguly, M. Dhoni, A. Kumble, Z. Khan, S.Sreesanth , V. Singh Bowling A. Nel 5 - 1 - 17 - 0 M. Ntini 6 - 2 - 14 -2 S. Pollock 2 - 1 - 4 - 0 2 - 1 - 4 - 0

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