Thursday 3 April 2008 

Steyn Rips Through India As Hosts Bowled Out For 76

India 76 (Pathan 21no, Steyn 5-23, Ntini 3-18, Morkel 2-20) v
South Africa223-4 (Kallis 60no, De Villiers 59no)

Three-match series level at 0-0
By Aaron Kumar

South African fast bowler Dale Steyn picked up five for 23 as India were bowled out for just 76 before lunch on day one of the second Test match in Ahmedabad. It evoked memories of Johannesburg in 2006 when the tables were turned, India bowling South Africa out for 84 in a match they went on to win.

South Africa responded by moving into a first innings lead without losing a wicket in the afternoon session, openers Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie putting on an unbroken half-century stand with Smith dropped by Sourav Ganguly early in his innings.

India finally did get a much needed breakthrough, when Smith, attempting to work the ball on the leg side was trapped lbw by Sreesanth for 34. Tea was taken shortly after Harbhajan Singh had McKenzie (42) well caught at slip by Rahul Dravid with South Africa on 100 for two.

Hashim Amla, who scored over 200 runs in the first Test, was then sharply caught by Wasim Jaffer off of Harbhajan at short leg for 16, and Ashwell Prince was trapped in front for two as India looked to somehow get themselves back into the match.

Jacques Kallis and AB De Villiers steadied the ship, both men registering half-centuries in a partnership that put South Africa well in control of the game.

The Proteas closed on 223 for four after De Villiers and Kallis had added a century for that fifth wicket.

Playing a home Test in April for the first time didn't seem to suit India as they were soon in trouble. Wasim Jaffer made an uncharacteristically aggressive start to his innings, with two boundaries very early on. However, he did not last too much longer as he edged a good delivery from Makhaya Ntini straight to Graeme Smith at first slip, Jaffer departed for nine and his wicket left India 16 for one.

Things went from bad for worse for the Indians, as Virender Sehwag, the hero of the last Test Match, with the fastest triple century of all time, was attempting to play a booming cover drive but only succeeded in getting an inside edge straight onto his stumps. Sehwag fell for six and his demise meant that India were 24 for two and the home crowd were left somewhat subdued.

VVS Laxman soon became India�s third victim, an error of judgement from the middle order batsman, saw him leave a ball from Makhaya Ntini, which went straight onto his off stump, Laxman only added three runs to India�s cause and his wicket left India reeling with their score 30 for three.

Ganguly (nought) followed two balls later when he was also bowled by Ntini, Dravid went for three when he received a peach of a delivery from Dale Steyn to knock back his off pole, and Dhoni went for a swift 14 after being dropped once to leave India in all sorts of trouble.

Anil Kumble (nought) and Harbhajan Singh (one) could do little to arrest the slide before a late charge from Irfan Pathan, brought into the side in place of Sachin Tendulkar, scoring 21 from 17 balls and remaining unbeaten helped the last two wickets add 20 runs before RP Singh and Sreesanth were dismissed without scoring. South Africa needed just 20 overs to bowl India out.

The first Test in Chennai was drawn.

� Cricket World 2008