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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Report: South Africa vs India, 2nd Test, Day 4 - INDIA Tour SA


With a patiently compiled 115 in his last Test, Jacques Kallis helped South Africa to 500 in the first innings. India were trailing by 98 runs with eight wickets with Cheteshwar Pujara (32*) and Virat Kohli (11*) in the middle when bad light once again ended the day’s play. While Kallis had played a vital knock for the hosts, Ravindra Jadeja played a crucial role for India. Bowling tirelessly, the left-arm spinner, who was the most economical of the Indian bowlers, returned with a six-wicket haul in the innings.   (Also Read: Stats Highlights: South Africa vs India, 1st Test, Day 4)

Kallis was the center of all attention on the fourth morning. As King Kallis resumed his innings on the overnight score of 78, the spectators waited with bated breath for him to reach the three-figure mark one last time in Tests. And the all-rounder obliged. Soon after they had overcome the overnight 35-run deficit, Kallis brought up his 45th Test ton with a single to mid-on off Jadeja. 

En route to joining the elite club of batsmen to score a century in their final Test, the 38-year-old entertained with some elegant strokes and boundaries. 

While South Africa continued to slowly add to their lead, Kallis overtook Rahul Dravid on the list of leading Test run-getters to claim the No.3 spot. But soon after, he swept Jadeja from outside off-stump and was caught by MS Dhoni. The wicket ended the Kallis-Steyn partnership for 86. 

Two overs later, Zaheer sent back Steyn to claim his first wicket of the innings. But Faf du Plessis and Robin Peterson took South Africa to 395 for seven at lunch. 

India continued with the old ball in the second session after a light drizzle delayed the start by 15 minutes. Peterson led the charge as the pair siphoned runs off the Indian attack. He helped claim 12 runs off Zaheer to kick start the session. And du Plessis followed suit. He hit Jadeja over mid-on for another boundary. With Zaheer conceding runs, Ishant Sharma replaced the senior pacer and but met with similar treatment from Peterson. The left-hand bat drove him through covers for a boundary, while helping collect 12 more off the over. 

And while India finally took the new ball in the 147th over, the Proteas continued to pilfer runs. Mohammed Shami was clobbered for 13. With the new ball in hand, Jadeja was finally relieved of his bowling duties after a spell that read 25-8-53-2. 

The hosts built on the lead effortlessly. Peterson lofted Zaheer over mid-off to race to his half-century off 44 balls. He also struck Rohit Sharma for a six before his cameo came to an end in the next over. Taking the aerial route, he was caught by Murali Vijay for 61 off Zaheer. However, rain again forced the players to return to the shade of the dressing room thereafter. This interruption also extended into tea.

When play resumed in the third session with SA on 497 for eight, Vernon Philander came out to the middle with du Plessis. And three runs later, after SA reached 500, a direct hit by Rohit ran out du Plessis at the non-striker’s end for 43. And in the next over Jadeja, returning into the attack, took a brilliant return catch diving to his right to claim Morne Morkel and end the hosts’ innings. Bowled out in the last session, SA had secured a 166-run lead. 

Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay then took guard under the overcast conditions. And with just eight runs on the board, Vijay nicked Philander to first slip. The pacer continued to ask questions off the Indian batsmen, just as he has done so far this series. 

The pace trio – Steyn, Philander and Morkel – kept India on a tight leash. Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara plucked the odd boundary as they grafted runs off the South African attack. While 12 runs came off Peterson’s first three overs, the rest the rest of the bowlers were more miserly. They had dropped anchor and stitched a partnership, which came to an abrupt end for 45. du Plessis at short mid-wicket leapt in the air and pulled off a one-handed catch to send back Dhawan, who had worked his way to 19 off 87 balls. 

Kohli then joined Pujara in the middle to take India to 68 for two at stumps. 

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