India in SA

Bad light halts SA march

2010-12-19 17:33
Centurion - Bad light has forced a halt to play at SuperSport Park in Centurion as South Africa edge closer to a well-earned victory over India in the first Test.

Needing a further 30 runs to make South Africa bat again, the Indians closed the day on 454/8 with Sachin Tendulkar still at the crease on an unbeaten 107, and Sree Sreesanth holding up the other end on 3.

South Africa's bowlers toiled in the hot conditions on the fourth day wicket which levelled out as play wore on, with early breakthrough wickets giving the home team early impetus.

However, after taking four wickets before lunch, including the prized scalps of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, South Africa were wicketless in the second session.

They took the new ball as soon as it became available after 80 overs but India's run-rate only increased as the shiny Kookaburra raced off Dhoni and Tendulkar's bats. Their partnership for the seventh wicket was worth 117 and they had reduced the deficit to 90.

Tendulkar added to the record-laden match with a fluid century, his 50th, and Dhoni continued to plunder runs at the other end, but was to fall eventually for a powerful 90 to a pacey Dale Steyn delivery which took the outside edge and was gratefully snapped up by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

Offspinner and currently in form tail-ender Harbajan Singh didn't last long, falling to Paul Harris for just 1 run, leaving the victory firmly in South Africa's sight.

But bad light meant the home team will need to return on the fifth day, and may even need to bat to win the Test.

The match has been one full of milestones, with Jacques Kallis achieving his maiden double ton, Tendulkar passing the 50 centuries mark, AB de Villiers achieving South Africa's fastest ever century (75 balls) and both Paul Harris and Morne Morkel surpassing 100 Test wickets.

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