India fightback after South African dominance
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Scorecard:India v South Africa
Player:AN Petersen, HM Amla, Z Khan, Harbhajan Singh
Event:South Africa in India 2009/10

DateLine: 14th February 2010


It was an exciting day's play as both the sides fought tooth and nail to claim the upper hand in the Test. If South Africa manage to draw the Test they would reclaim the number one spit as well as register a rare series win on the Indian soil while for the Indians a proud home record is at stake.


Smith was lucky to win the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch that promised runs. But Zaheer Khan who had made Smith (4, 12 balls, 1x4) his bunny sent his off stump for a walk with a brilliant in-swinger. That was the only joy the Indian side had in the morning and the afternoon session as South Africa took control of the Test thanks to Petersen (100, 164 balls, 16x4) and Amla (114, 166 balls, 14x4, 1x6). The pair never looked in any sort of trouble as they added 209 in 49.4 overs. In the morning session of all the Indian bowlers only Zaheer looked like getting a wicket as he relentlessly probed away. Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra were low on confidence and it showed in their defensive bowling. Harbhajan Singh was introduced late into the attack and slowly he began to settle into some rhythm.


Petersen completed a well deserved century on his debut while Amla continued to torture the Indian bowlers with another near flawless century. Petersen fell soon after completing his century as he edged behind of an interrogating Zaheer Khan while Amla top-edged a well-directed bouncer behind of the same bowler. That opened the flood-gates as the Indian bowlers led by irrepressible Harbhajan Singh, who re-kindled his love affair with Eden Gardens, ripped open the South African batting line-up.


Kallis (10, 26 balls, 1x4) top-edged to Laxman at first slip as he tried to slog Harbhajan over midwicket while Ashwell Prince (1, 8 balls) and Duminy (0, 1 ball) were dismissed in identical fashion of the off-spinner. The innings continued its downwrd spiral as AB de Villiers (12, 37 balls, 1x4) was run-out as he filed to beat Zaheer Khan's one arm throw at the stumps. Harris (1, 4 balls) was caught behind of Ishant Sharma while Dale Steyn (5, 37 balls) after resisting for some time was unfortunate to trapped leg before of a Mishra slider. With the last pair at the crease and the light failing the umpires offered the light to the batsmen who accepted it without much hesitation.


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