India in SA

India nine down at stumps

2010-12-16 18:45
Dale Steyn (Gallo Images)
Centurion - India endured a miserable start to the test series against South Africa, ending a weather-hit first day of the first test on 136/9

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38th over: Well, play seems to be continuing beyond the scheduled close, which is bad news for the batsmen but good news for the spectators who missed so much cricket earlier.

Jacques Kallis bowls under the floodlights, and India survive another over. And that really is the close of play as the umpires declare things too dark after one further ball from Morkel.

37th over: Young Unadkat fends off a short one from Morkel quite well.

Same again next ball, and they cross for a single.

The captain is opening up now and hooks Morkel for four. He’s decided to take what he can get now. Which includes a single with two deliveries to go – poor Unadkat!

He sees off the last two balls and SA will have to get one more wicket in the morning.

36th over: Tsotsobe starts the over with a bouncer that’s called wide.

Then Dhoni pulls him for six. Oops. He hasn’t got his length right today.

Dhoni hits the last ball for four, but there’s a shock for Unadkat as it turns out there’s time for one more over!

35th over: Sreesanth survives a few balls, but Morkel eventually entices him to drive. The ball goes straight to Dale Steyn at mid-off.

That’s India’s third duck – Sreesanth joins Sharma and Sehwag in having scored zero.

Test rookie Unadkat manages to see off a full, straight delivery from Morkel and might be able to watch Dhoni from the other end now. There may be just one over left.

34th over: Now Dhoni hits Tsotsobe over the mid-on fence. Unfortunately Lonwabo has come in for a bit of stick today.

Dhoni has declined a single this over - he’s not keen to let Sreesanth bat. But he can’t nick a single at the end of this over…

33rd over: Harbhajan OUT! A spirited knock of 27 comes to an end in utterly weird fashion.

It starts with a no-ball from Morkel, which Dhoni then hits to the cover boundary. At first it looks like four but it doesn’t go all the way, and the Indians have to scurry for their third run.

Alviro Petersen returns the ball to Boucher. It doesn’t come in right over the bails and the keeper has to take a couple of steps and take the ball with his back to the wickets.

Then it’s a moment of brilliance from Boucher as he flicks it between his legs and hits the stumps. Harbhajan is short, partly because he has inexplicably dropped his bat.

Ishant Sharma then last all of two balls as Morkel has the tail-ender caught at slip.

India are now 110/8 and it’s up to Dhoni to try and squeeze as many runs out of the innings as possible.

But with the unpredictable Sreesanth now at the other end, that quest could go either way.

32nd over: India finally get their score to three figures as Singh smacks Tsotsobe for six. Some prolonged talk ensues between the two – no doubt it would make for interesting listening.

30th over: Tsotsobe is on for Kallis and will try angling it across Harbhajan.

But he has no luck against Singh, nor against Tsotsobe. The score is now 90/6.

29th over: Morkel is back into the attack for Steyn. Can he keep his figures as spectacular as they were before tea?

Harbhajan has a close call as he dashes for a single to the non-striker’s end. The last thing India need now is a run-out.

Well, the over only goes for one run, so Morkel’s keeping up the good form.

28th over: Kallis bowls a skyscraper of a bouncer at Harbhajan, and gets called for a wide.

Then Harbhajan pushes one to the mid-on boundary and moves to 14.

27th over: Steyn beats Dhoni with a terrific outswinger that lands on the perfect length. It’s a maiden over.

25th over: Tendulkar keeps the scoreboard ticking as wickets tumble around him, cutting Steyn for four.

There’s a bit of a delay for some work to the pitch, but then Steyn dismisses Tendulkar!

Sachin was looking dangerous on 36 after 34 balls, but Steyn gets him trapped LBW right in front of the wickets. Great length and Tendulkar gets stuck on the crease.

That’s the last recognized batsmen gone, although new man Harbhajan Singh may dispute that after his recent centuries against New Zealand.

Sure enough, he hits his first ball for four. He and Dhoni could yet prove a frustrating pair for South Africa.

24th over: Raina OUT! Kallis gets his 268th test wicket as Raina pushes at one outside off stump and is caught by Ashwell Prince at third slip.

The delivery is nothing special, but it was bowled in just the right area for a nervy new batsman.

India are in all sorts of strife at 67/5. They will need to show some character now.

23rd over: Laxman OUT! Steyn clean bowls Laxman for seven. He only faced 20 balls in 36 minutes and never really got going. It’s 66/4.

New man Suresh Raina nearly edges his first delivery as he fishes outside off stump.

There’s a leg slip in again for the left-handed Raina.

21st over: Steyn gets an inside edge from Tendulkar, but also gets driven for four. Sachin is putting bad balls away in some style.

Earlier, the Proteas picked up three top order scalps in the form of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid in the delayed first session of the day.

It was an exciting period from the very first delivery, when Dale Steyn went up for a big LBW shout against Gambhir.

Although Gambhir survived that episode, South Africa and Steyn did not have to wait long for their first breakthrough.

Sehwag got himself out going hard at a wide Steyn outswinger, and was caught by Hashim Amla at third man. It was not a dismissal the opener will be proud of, but Proteas captain Graeme Smith and Steyn will have enjoyed seeing Sehwag fall into their well-set trap.

Three overs later Morkel had Gambhir caught behind as he gloved a rising short ball, but didn’t get the all-important nod from the umpire.

Eventually justice was done in the 13th over, as Morkel’s aggressive bowling to Gambhir was rewarded with an edge to first slip. This time the dismissal was in no doubt.

There was more joy for Morkel just a little later, as he went to 100 test wickets with the LBW dismissal of the careful Rahul Dravid. It took a great piece of bowling to remove ‘The Wall’. Morkel got one to nip back and hit the Indian on the pads right in front of the stumps.

Morkel was the pick of the bowlers in the session with figures of 7-4-4-2. He kept things varied by bowling a spell from each end and mixing things up with bouncers, yorkers and several other combinations of line and length.

Morkel was well-supported by Steyn’s controlled outswingers. Lonwabo Tsotsobe also bowled some good deliveries at Sachin Tendulkar, testing the batting legend a few times. But he also lacked consistency and gave away some easy boundaries.

Earlier, home captain Graeme Smith won the toss and asked India to bat.

The grounds staff at SuperSport Park did a superb job of getting the waterlogged field ready for play after heavy morning rain, and the umpired pronounced themselves satisfied with conditions at around 14:30.

An abbreviated day’s play got underway at 15:00.

The hosts field a familiar line-up. The only question mark was whether Lonwabo Tsotsobe or Ryan McLaren would be the third seamer, and the answer was that Tsotsobe would start.

India elected not to risk the injured Zaheer Khan for this match. Rookie Jaidev Unadkat took Khan’s place in the bowling attack.


South Africa – Graeme Smith (capt), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher (wk), Dale Steyn, Paul Harris, Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe

India – Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Harbhajan Singh, S Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma, Jaidev Unadkat


Toss: South Africa

India first innings

G Gambhir c Harris b Morkel 5 (43b)

V Sehwag c Amla b Steyn 0 (3b)

R Dravid lbw b Morkel 14 (42b, 2x4)

S Tendulkar lbw b Steyn 36 (34b, 8x4)

VVS Laxman b Steyn 7 (20b, 1x4)

S Raina c de Villiers b Kallis 1 (3b)

MS Dhoni not out 33 (47b, 2x4, 2x6)

H Singh run out Boucher 27 (25b, 4x4, 1x6)

I Sharma c Kallis b Morkel 0 (2b)

S Sreesanth c Steyn b Morkel 0 (8b)

J Unadkat not out 1 (5b)

Extras: (6lb, 3nb, 3w) 12

Total: (for nine wickets) 136 €“ 38.1 overs

Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Sehwag 2.1 ov), 2-24 (Gambhir 12.6), 3-27 (Dravid 14.4), 4-66 (Laxman 22.2), 5-67 (Raina 23.1), 6-71 (Tendulkar 24.4), 7-110 (Singh 32.1), 8-110 (Sharma 32.3), 9-116 (Sreesanth 34.5)

Bowling: Steyn 10-1-34-3 (1w), Morkel 12.1-5-20-4 (3nb), Tsotsobe 9-2-50-0 (1w), Kallis 6-1-20-1 (1w), Harris 1-0-6-0


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