Steyn strike leave India at 74 for two (Lunch report)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

DURBAN - South African speedster Dale Steyn struck twice to leave India struggling at 74 for two at lunch on a seaming and bouncy Kingsmead track on the first day of the second cricket Test here Sunday.

Steyn dismissed Virender Sehwag (25) and Murali Vijay (19) after both enjoyed their share of lives and managed to raise 43 for the opening partnership.

Rahul Dravid (14) and Sachin Tendulkar (13) were battling at the luncheon break to avoid a Centurion-like first innings collapse.

It looked like a repeat of the Centurion Test when Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni lost the toss in overcast conditions and Graeme Smith put the visitors in. The morning drizzle delayed the start by an hour and left the pitch, which looks greener than the one at Centurion, and the outfield moist.

The ball darted around sharply and bounced high, testing the two openers. Morkel, who ran through the Indian line-up in Centurion, struggled to find the right length and was not as lethal as he was in the first Test, but Steyn was quick to get into the groove.

Vijay, who came in for injured Gautam Gambhir, struggled with his footwork, and was indecisive in judging the length of the ball. He was lucky to be dropped by Paul Harris at first slip off Steyn.

Sehwag backed his istincts, hitting Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe for two boundaries each. Steyn pitched the ball up, and Sehwag edged the moving delivery to Jacques Kallis, who took the catch high at second slip.

Vijay, after managing to escape the outstretched hands of a diving AB de Villiers at third slip, ran out of his luck and edged the next Steyn delivery to wicket-keeper Mark Boucher.

Tendulkar, who struck his 50th Test century in the first Test, upper cut a bouncing Morkel delivery for a four and then mis hit a similar ball for another boundary over the keeper’s head to survive the last over before lunch.

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