Thursday, January 04, 2007

For the record: Day 2 in Cape Town

From Cape Town
Skipper Graeme Smith scored his second consecutive half-century to bolster South Africa's batting on the second day of the third Test against India on Wednesday.
At the close South Africa were 144 for one in reply to India's first innings 414.
Smith, who scored 58 in the second innings of South Africa's 174-run win in the second Test in Durban, was 76 not out while Hashim Amla had scored 50 in an unbroken stand of 130 for the second wicket.
"Any lead we can get would be fantastic," South Africa all rounder Shaun Pollock told a news conference. "A perfect scenario would be to get 150 ahead, then they would be behind the eight-ball.
"If the wicket starts misbehaving, we would be in control. We've set a base to launch from and we're comfortable with where we are but we realise there's a lot of cricket ahead."
Sourav Ganguly guided India to their sizeable total with a gritty 66 and Sachin Tendulkar scored a composed 64.
Medium pacer Pollock took four for 75 and debutant left-arm spinner Paul Harris claimed four for 129.
India, who resumed on 254 for three, lost their fourth wicket in the eighth over of the day when fast bowler Dale Steyn uprooted VVS Laxman's off stump to bowl him for 13.
Tendulkar and Ganguly shared a stand of 68 for the fifth wicket before Harris had Tendulkar caught by Jacques Kallis at slip with a delivery that turned sharply out of the rough.
Tendulkar's steady innings included 11 fours and came off 130 balls.
Virender Sehwag, demoted to number seven after struggling at the top of the order in the first two tests, was out for an aggressive 40 when he pulled a delivery from Harris to Makhaya Ntini at deep backward square leg.
That reduced India to 395 for six and the visitors lost their last five wickets for 19 runs.
Ganguly, struck a fearsome blow on the helmet by Steyn with the third ball he faced, was last out when he skied a delivery from Pollock to Amla at mid-off.
The gutsy Ganguly faced 75 balls and hit nine fours and a six.
Smith began South Africa's reply in spectacular style when he hooked the first ball of the innings, bowled by left-arm fast bowler Zaheer Khan, over the fine leg boundary for six.
Fast bowler Shanta Sreesanth struck back for India in the fourth over before tea when he had AB de Villiers caught behind off the inside edge by wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik for one.
That proved to be India's last success of the day as Smith and Amla took the home side to the close with little drama.
Karthik said: "All we can do is continue to bowl in good areas, take wickets and keep the intensity right up there."
He said India leg spinner Anil Kumble could be a key bowler on a pitch showing signs of wear.
"He's a fantastic bowler, an experienced bowler, and there's quite a bit of rough," Karthik said.

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