Tendulkar, Harbhajan deny Steyn (Tea report)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

CAPE TOWN - A resilient Sachin Tendulkar brought up his 51st Test century while Harbhajan Singh held the fort against some high-quality fast bowling by South Africa to take India to 316 for six at tea in the third day of the third Test at Newlands here Tuesday.

Tendulkar was batting on 136 and Harbhajan on 34, adding a crucial 69 runs for the seventh wicket. India still trail by 46 runs.

Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel bowled exceptionally with the second new ball, but India, after losing Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a sensational spell by the two fast bowlers after lunch, survived by the skin of their teeth.

Tendulkar, after having fought out in the morning session with Gautam Gambhir (93), continued in the same vein and Harbhajan dug in his heels to take India out of deep trouble at 237 for five, a huge first innings defecit looming large.

Having resumed at 237 for four after lunch, Steyn dismissed Pujara lbw in the very first over of the second session with an unplayable delivery that moved from the leg stump and completely squared up the youngster, hitting him right on his front pad.

What unfolded next was beyond comprehension as Steyn produced stunners relentlessly; perfect outswingers that curled away and looked too good to miss the outside edge of the bat.

Tendulkar stood admiring and surviving Steyn’s banana-swingers with his sound technique and also a bit of fortune. But when the moment presented itself, the Indian maestro moved his blade to show his class.

Dhoni was sucked in that spell, edging one to Ashwell Prince at slip.

Tendulkar, who struck 17 fours and one six, brought up the century when he hit Morkel for a top-edge six while going for the hook.

Harbhajan, with two Test centuries against his name, survived some anxious moments but gave company to Tendulkar.

Steyn’s first five overs after lunch got past the edge numerous times and it looked he would wrap up the Indian innings in a matter of time. It was not to be.

After the new ball lost his shine, Tendulkar and Harbhajan batted with more ease to steady the Indian innings.

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