Third Test heading towards a draw (Tea report)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

CAPE TOWN - Gautam Gambhir struck a dogged half-century and India were 114 for two at tea as their series-decider third and final cricket Test against South Africa headed towards a draw on the fifth day here Thursday.

Gambhir was batting on 62 and first-innings centurion Sachin Tendulkar on seven at the break after Rahul Dravid was out for 31 in the second session.

Chasing a victory target of 340 runs, India began cautiously in the morning against some fiery bowling by the South African pace attack. A draw will ensure that India will level the three-match series 1-1.

Dravid, who occupied the crease for 112 balls and 149 minutes, shared a 79-run stand with Gambhir. Lonwabo Tsotsobe got the wicket of Dravid, who was caught by Ashwell Prince at slip.

Gambhir remained solid at the other one end. He faced 163 balls and struck nine fours.

Left-arm spinner Paul Harris got the ball to turn from the fifth day track, but Gambhir and Tendulkar tackled him well.

Earlier, India lost the wicket of Virender Sehwag to reach 53 for one at lunch.

Much was riding on Sehwag in the morning as the swashbuckling opener can score quickly and force the opposition on the defensive. But Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn gave no respite to the Indian openers and kept them on a tight leash.

Morkel pinned down the openers with some quality bowling.

Sehwag, who has been struggling for runs in the series, and Gambhir bought their time in the middle. Such was the consistency of Steyn and Morkel that the aggressive duo never got the room to play their strokes freely.

Sehwag and Gambhir were in fact lucky to survive with the swinging and bouncing deliveries missing the bat on numerous occasions. They shared only 27 runs in 12 overs, before Sehwag was dismissed, caught by Graeme Smith at first slip off Morkel.

Sehwag struck only two fours in 40 balls.

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