Openers give South Africa a great start against India (Lunch Report)

Friday, December 17, 2010

CENTURION - Openers Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen gave South Africa a great start as they reached 111 for one in the first innings against India at lunch on the second day of the first cricket Test here Friday.

Alviro Petersen was batting on 45 with Hashim Amla yet to open his account when the lunch was called at the Super Sport Park. Smith made a quick-fire 62 in 87 balls and fell in the last over before the break.

South Africa are trailing by just 25 runs after they bowled out India, who failed to add to their overnight score of 136 for nine. Fast bowler Morne Morkel took just three balls to wrap up the Indian innings by trapping captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni leg before wicket for 33.

South African captain Smith set the tone for the chase in the very first over after he hit Sreesanth for a four in the fourth ball of the innings. In the next five overs, Indian fast bowlers Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma bowled a steady line and length as South Africa managed just three runs.

Smith and Petersen adopted a cautious approach as the first fifty partnership of the innings came up in 81 minutes from 96 balls. But as the moisture in the pitch dried out, runs flowed thick and fast.

Smith was in fine form and got to his half-century in style, a late cut off Harbhajan Singh raced for a four. Two balls later, Smith again attacked Harbhajan, this time he stepped out and drove the off-spinner for a four through the mid-wicket. In the next over, Smith again swept Harbahajan for a four to deep square leg boundary. Harbhajan, however, took revenge after he dismissed Smith in the next over, caught behind by Dhoni.

Earlier in the day, Morkel finished with Test-best figures of five for 20 from 18.4 overs to skittle out India.

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