South Africa Vs India, 2nd Test: The See-Saw Battle Continues




India vs South Africa

India vs South Africa

The second Test at Durban continued to swing both ways as the Proteas and the Indians finished Day 3 on level terms with both teams having a chance to wrap up the Test on Day 4. While the Proteas need another 192 runs to gain an unassailable lead in the series, the Indian bowlers need 7 wickets to go to Cape Town on level pegging.

South Africa couldn’t have asked for a better start to Day 3 as overnight batsman Pujara chopped a short ball onto his stumps in the first over of the day. But Dhoni, the new man in, along with Laxman put on a counterattacking 41 run partnership and just as the duo seemed to look comfortable, Dhoni poked at a wide one from Tsotsobe and Boucher gleefully accepted his 8th catch of the match. Harbhajan realized that he had a long way to go before going to be called an all rounder as he was caught on the crease edging Morkel to Kallis at first slip. India were 7 down and with a lead of only 222, South Africa had the advantage.

But South Africa knew it wasn’t over as long as V.V.S Laxman was still at the crease. And as he had done it a dozen times earlier, he produced a gem of an innings when it mattered the most, and in the company of Zaheer Khan put on a 70 run partnership as India went to lunch 292 runs ahead with Laxman on 86 and Zaheer on 27.

Just as India seemed to be on top, Harris struck in the second over after lunch removing Zaheer and Kallis followed it up with the wicket of Ishant. Laxman, stranded at the other end, was dismissed for 96 as he edged Steyn to Boucher. India had managed only 10 runs after lunch and South Africa were right back in the game.

Chasing 303 for victory, the Proteas started off in the most aggressive fashion racing away to 63 by the end of the 12th over. Smith, in particular, was severe in attack hammering his nemesis Zaheer for five boundaries in his first three overs. The match seemed to be slipping out of India’s grasp before Sreesanth, who was earlier involved in an altercation with Smith, got rid of the South African captain on the stroke of tea.

Harbhajan then had Alvaro Peterson caught at forward short leg and Amla, who could no wrong this year, chased a wide ball from Sreesanth nicking it to the keeper and  South Africa were three down in a flash. Kallis and De Villiers played out 11 cautious overs before bad light brought a premature end to an intriguing day of Test cricket – a day where fortunes continued to fluctuate, a day that brought out no clear winner and a day where Laxman once again proved to be India’s best disaster management expert!

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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