Wednesday, December 29, 2010

South Africa Test: India pull off a remarkable victory to level series

South Africa Test: India pull off a remarkable victory to level series
An inspired India made amends for the drubbing at Centurion with a sensational 87-run victory against South Africa in the low-scoring second cricket Test to level the three-match series 1-1 in Durban today.

After setting a target of 303, the Indian bowlers put up a disciplined show to dismiss the hosts for 215 in 72.3 overs about an hour after the lunch break to record only their second Test triumph on South African soil.

It turned out to be an extraordinary Test with fortune fluctuating from one team to the other but the Indians eventually tilted the balance in their favour on a bouncy Kingsmead track which saw 40 wickets fall in three and half days.

The Indians, who had lost the first Test at Centurion by an innings and 25 runs, showed great character and resilience to demolish the Proteas in their own den and in conditions tailor-made to suit the home team.

The Indians players jumped in joy and hugged each other after last man Lonwabo Tsotsobe was run out to bring about the moment of glory while coach Gary Kirsten and the other support staff stood up at the dressing room to applaud the players.

S Sreesanth (3/45), Zaheer Khan (3/53) and Harbhajan Singh (2/70) were the pick of the bowlers for India while Ashwell Prince was the top scorer for the South Africans with an unbeaten 39.

It was India's second Test triumph in South Africa. The 123-run victory in the first Test at Johannesburg in 2006 was their first Test victory on South African soil.

The two teams will now travel to Cape Town for the third and final Test starting on Sunday.

Both teams had an equal chance of winning the match when play began this morning with South Africa needing 192 runs and India needing to scalp the seven remaining wickets.

With plenty of time at hand, South African batsmen adopted a cautious approach in the morning and were content in playing the waiting game against some disciplined Indian bowling.

Resuming their chase at the overnight score of 111 for three, both AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis found the going tough against the Indian attack and scored in ones and twos before a ripper from Sreesanth broke the dangerous-looking 41-run fourth-wicket stand.


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