Saturday 5 April 2008 

South Africa Complete Win Over India Inside Three Days


India 76 (Pathan 21no, Steyn 5-23) & 328 (Ganguly 87, Dhoni 52) v
South Africa 494-7 declared (De Villiers 217no, Kallis 132)

South Africa won by an innings and 90 runs and lead the series 1-0
By Aaron Kumar

South Africa picked up all ten Indian wickets on the third day of the second Test in Ahmedabad to complete an innings and 90-run victory.

India went into tea on on 191 for four after South Africa declared their first innings on their overnight 494 for seven and India were bowled out for 76 on day one, but six wickets after the break sealed a comprehensive win for the South Africans.

Gutsy innings of 87 by former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly and 52 from Mahendra Singh Dhoni kept their team alive for a short while as they added 110 for the sixth wicket but they merely delayed the inevitable.

The declaration gave the Proteas a lead of 418 but Virender Sehwag made his intentions very clear as the opening batsman hit two sixes off Dale Steyn in the opening over of India�s second innings.

Sehwag quickly became India�s first batsman to fall when he was trapped lbw by Makhaya Ntini for 17. The fall of Sehwag�s wicket meant that India were 31 for one.

A solid partnership between Jaffer and Dravid was starting to frustrate the South Africans, when Dravid received a short ball from Morne Morkel which he edged straight to AB De Villiers at third slip. Dravid departed for 17 and his wicket left India 64 for two and in all sorts of trouble.

Jaffer followed Dravid back to the pavilion the very next over when he edged Jacques Kallis, straight to third slip where once again De Villiers completed the catch, Jaffer fell for 19 and his wicket meant that India were 70 for three and facing the prospect of a humiliating defeat inside three days.

Laxman started in a positive fashion, as he hit three glorious boundaries early in his innings, as India successfully made their way to lunch without losing another wicket.

They lost one wicket in the middle session of the day when Laxman slashed at a Morne Morkel delivery outside off stump and with no footwork, edged to Mark Boucher having made 35.

Ganguly then got to his sixth Test half-century against South Africa with a shot through the covers and that shot also brought up the 50 partnership between himself and Dhoni.

He went on to score his Test best against South Africa before edging Steyn to Boucher before a drive from Dhoni found its way to Graeme Smith at slip off of Makhaya Ntini.

That left Irfan Pathan, playing positively as India's last hope but he soon lost Anil Kumble as South Africa delayed the taking of the second new ball and were rewarded when Paul Harris bowled the Indian captain for five.

The new ball was eventually taken and Steyn immediately trapped Harbhajan in front for four, following up what was probably the worst ball he has ever bowled which disappeared for five legside wides with one that pitched and straightened to his Harbhajan in line with the stumps.

RP Singh never looked comfortable against Steyn and following two blows to the body he fended a short ball into the slips where Kallis took a smart catch to leave India nine down and staring defeat in the face.

Ntini ended the match by bowling Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, who had enjoyed himself by hitting three boundaries including one six before Ntini made amends for dropping Sreesanth from the first ball he faced.

Ntini finished with three for 44, Steyn three for 91, Morkel two for 87 while Kallis and Harris picked up a wicket apiece as South Africa completed the win with around 15 minutes of play remaining on the third day to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

The first Test in Chennai was drawn.

� Cricket World 2008

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