India wins Durban Test, level series one all

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Durban (S. Africa), - India defeated South Africa in the second Test played here by 87 runs on Wednesday, and leveled the three-match series one all.

Requiring 303 for a win in the fourth innings, South Africa was bundled out for 215. Zaheer Khan with three for 57 runs, S. Sreesanth with three for 45 runs, Harbhajan Singh with two for 70 and Ishant Sharma with a wicket for 36, were instrumental in ensuring the win. A defiant Ashwell Prince remained unbeaten on 39, and for some time on Wednesday, stood in the way of India’s charge for their second Test win in South Africa.

In front of a disappointingly thin crowd at Kingsmead, the venue where India suffered one of their worst-ever Test defeats in 1996, their bowlers rarely bowled a bad delivery on the fourth morning, to put their side in sight of victory.

A Sreesanth snorter to Jacques Kallis started South Africa’s slide, before two lbws - one a marginal decision (A. B de Villiers) and the other a howler (Mark Boucher) - that are sure to refuel the UDRS debate, hurt them further.

India was firmly in charge at lunch, and handsomely won the match shortly before tea.

Sreesanth sent down an accurate spell of sustained hostility. The highlight was in the seventh over of the day - an utterly unplayable bouncer which reared up sharply and jagged in to Kallis, who had no way to avoid it, arched his back in an attempt to get out of the way, but could only glove it to gully. It was the snorter that was needed to remove the kingpin of South Africa’s batting.

That wicket put India slightly ahead, and there was no doubt who were front-runners after AB de Villiers decided to not offer a shot to a Harbhajan Singh delivery from round the wicket. He was struck in front of middle and looked lbw and the umpire agreed, though Hawk-Eye suggested the ball would have bounced over the stumps.

Boucher, who built his reputation as a scrapper, and with Prince also around, it wasn’t yet lights out for South Africa. Boucher, though, made only one before he was given lbw to a delivery that was angling across him and going to comfortably miss off stump.

In came Dale Steyn, who was peppered with three short balls before nicking a fuller delivery to slip of Zaheer Khan.

Zaheer then bowled Paul Harris, while Morne Morkel was caught behind of Ishant Sharma for 20. LL Tsotsobe was run out by short leg C. Pujara.

The final scores were as follows: India 205 and 228. South Africa 131 and 215. (ANI)

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