India inch closer to victory

2010-02-18 11:07
Hashim Amla (File)
Kolkata -  South Africa were in freefall on 269 for nine on the final day of the second Test against India at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday.

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Earlier India were two wickets away from winning the second and final cricket Test against South Africa on Thursday despite another unbeaten century from Hashim Amla.

The in-form Amla made 106 not out as the Proteas, trailing by 347 runs on the first innings, were tottering at 250-7 in their second knock at tea on the fifth day at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

The 26-year-old from Durban, who made an unbeaten 253 in the first Test and 114 in the first innings of this match, has so far hit 14 boundaries.

Wayne Parnell (22 not out) helped Amla add 70 for the unbroken eighth wicket, but the South Africans still trail by 97 runs with three wickets in hand.

India, who lost the first Test in Nagpur by an innings and six runs, have a minimum of 34 overs to force a series-levelling win and retain their number one Test ranking.

The second-ranked South Africa will take over from India if the match ends in a draw, giving the Proteas a 1-0 series win.

The overnight pair of Amla and Ashwell Price put on 47 for the fourth wicket, before Harbhajan Singh broke through two hours after the start under bright sunshine.

The off-spinner beat Prince in the air and the miscued drive lobbed to Ishant Sharma at mid-off.

Left-handed Prince made 23 after scores of zero and one in the previous two innings of the series.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who left the field briefly for treatment on a sore right shoulder, returned to trap AB de Villiers leg-before for three with a googly just before lunch.

South Africa, who went to lunch at 164-5, slipped to 180-7 as Harbhajan claimed both Jean-Paul Duminy and Dale Steyn leg-before soon after play resumed.

Harbhajan went to tea with 4-48 and Mishra had 3-70.

India were handicapped by the absence of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who suffered a knee injury on the fourth day.

Zaheer will not feature in the one-day series against the Proteas that follows the Tests, the Indian cricket board said in a statement.

South African captain Graeme Smith will also miss the one-dayers due to a fractured finger and all-rounder Jacques Kallis will lead the tourists in his absence, the team management said.

The internationals will be played in Jaipur (Feb 21), Gwalior (Feb 24) and Ahmedabad (Feb 27).

Read more on:    hashim amla  |  jp duminy  |  sa in india

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