Weather favours South Africa

2010-02-17 14:00

Kolkata - Bad weather brought a brief respite to South Africa as India pressed for a series-levelling victory in the second and final cricket Test on Wednesday.

The tourists, trailing by 347 runs on the first innings, lost three key wickets on the rain-curtailed fourth day to stutter to 115-3 in their second knock by stumps at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Just 34.1 overs were sent down during the day as a wet outfield caused by overnight rain delayed the start by 90 minutes and overcast conditions interrupted play regularly.

In the brief period of action, leg-spinner Amit Mishra sent back skipper Graeme Smith (20) and Jacques Kallis (20), and Harbhajan Singh dismissed Alviro Petersen.

Hashim Amla was unbeaten on 49 and Ashwell Prince had yet to score when the umpires finally called off play for the day.

India, which lost the first Test in Nagpur by an innings and six runs, will hope for a clear day on Thursday as they attempt to draw the series 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.

South Africa still trail by 232 runs with seven wickets in hand, but Kallis was confident all was not lost for his team.

"The weather helped us today," he said. "The wicket is still very good for batting. There is a little bit of a turn, but not as much as you come across normally in the subcontinent.

"There is also not much in it for the seamers and batting conditions are as good as they get.

"The guys have played the spinners well so far and there is no reason why we can't survive 90-odd overs. If we can just be positive and keep the pressure on India, anything can happen."

India declared their first innings on a mammoth 643-6, built on centuries by Virender Sehwag (165), Venkatsai Laxman (143 not out), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (132 not out) and Sachin Tendulkar (106).

Smith and Petersen played with caution after resuming at the overnight total of 6-0, when Mishra was brought into attack in the 13th over.

Mishra struck off his first delivery, trapping Smith in front of the wicket to cap a miserable outing for the South African skipper in the series. Smith scored just 30 runs in three innings.

Off-spinner Harbhajan gave India the breakthrough in the post-lunch session when he got rid of first-innings centurion Petersen (21) in his second over after the break.

The debutant opener was foxed by a delivery that found the inside edge of his bat and popped up to short-leg where Subramaniam Badrinath took a head-high catch on second attempt.

Kallis shaped up to defend against Mishra, but offered an outside edge to Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps. He shared 57 runs for the third wicket with Amla.

The Test series will be followed by three one-day internationals at Jaipur (Feb 21), Gwalior (Feb 24) and Ahmedabad (Feb 27).


  • Mundo - 2010-02-17 13:05

    These chockers must certainly be lucky.. Can wait for 2mrw to see the indian spinners do a clean up... Tomorrow's weather forecast says in kolkata its a shining bright day with no thundershowers... Take them Harbajie.....

  • endangeredspecies - 2010-02-17 13:06

    well if Duminy and Prince don't step up 2moro we will lose!!! de villiers is also short of runs and Dale Steyn is definitely not a intl no.7! should have had Mclaren in their and played Botha instead of Harris! oh well i will think positively for a bit.......

  • wesley - 2010-02-17 13:10

    My raindance is working in Cape-Town as well as India.. cool

  • Fan - 2010-02-17 13:17

    Common boys, one more day to hold the fort! Hang on Amla!

  • THE MAN - 2010-02-17 13:18

    of course, south africa could become the so called worlds best team because of the weather and not skill or because they deserve....lets be honest even you die hard hardporn hardcore wit span must surely admit this team does not deserve to be the worlds best team c'mon if you disagree you are surely liviing your entire life in denial. WHEN THESE GUY PROOVE TO ME THAT THEY ARE TRUELY WORLD CHAMPIONS BY GETTING SOME CONSISTENCY IN BEATING INDIA AUSTRALIA AND ENGLAND CONVINCINGLY AND THEN WINNING THE WORLD CUP THEN ONLY WILL I BEGIN TO SUPPORT DE WIT SPAN BUT UNTILL THEN I STAND FIRM THAT THIS TEAM MIGHT AS WELL TRANSFORM AND GIVE OTHERS LESS FORTUNATE A CHANCE.

  • Centurion - 2010-02-17 13:24

    We have a decent chance to come away with a draw. Every batsmen will need to contribute - with 98 overs scheduled the remaining frontline batsmen need to face 120-145 balls each (and not leave too much time for the tail). Hopefully we have a late start again (overnight rain predicted) due to a wet outfielding. Unfortunately clear skies are predicted for tomorrow.

  • Themba - 2010-02-17 13:26

    I have hope in our boys they will make us proud. Good luck guys.

  • Just Cricket - 2010-02-17 13:29

    I agree Duminy and Prince must step up to the plate and save the match with Amla. They owe us supporters big time for keeping faith in them. Smith lbw was dubious, clipped leg stump if anything. If the umpires are not lbw trigger happy then Sa will edge out a draw (4 wickets to spare) Go rain, Go Proteas !!!

  • Ollie - 2010-02-17 13:37

    Go Proteas hang in there will be rooting for the team as usual

  • quota cricket - 2010-02-17 13:37

    can someone please tell Duminy and Prince to do us all (formerly classed as a Coloured person)please drop yourselves. we will respect you guys even more

  • NotTheMan - 2010-02-17 13:41

    Of course gaining top spot due to rain is not ideal, but I'll take that! Anyway, I'm sure it'll be dry for most of tomorrow. Wow, THE MAN, I'm speechless. So you won't support the national team (of which 6/11 = 55% is white) because of the colour of their skins? You rascist pig.

  • Gerrit - 2010-02-17 13:48

    This is what makes sports so exciting, when two worthy opponents square up to one another and compete for victory. It just keeps us asking for more, doesn't it? We were on top with the previous match and beat India convincingly and now they are the team to give us a run for our money. I have a good laugh when people say we are not worthy of the #1 spot if we draw this match. The rankings are calculated over a course of time and a number of matches played, it is not dictated on the outcome of one match per se. Go proteas, you rock! @the man: you remind me of my ex-girlfriend.

  • Elgee - 2010-02-17 13:52

    I sincerely hope the weather will finally pay us back for all the cruelty it dealt us over the years, especially the world cup tournaments. @Mundo and the man, tomorrow you will see SA hold on to force the Draw the same way your precious England did to beat us here in SA the man.

  • @Mundo - 2010-02-17 13:52

    Yo moron what is a "chocker" is it a new kind of chocolate. Well if India still level the series they will still drop ranking points HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. The pathetic Indians who choked in the first test only win series against weak teams and at home, they are so pathetic when they travel

  • @the Man - 2010-02-17 13:53

    The Little Man This team's test series results, in the last 2 and a half years since October 2007 read as follows; Won in Pakistan Won at home against New Zealand Won at home against West Indies Won in Bangladesh Drew in India Won in England Won in Australia Lost at home to Australia Drew at home to England The team is now one good day away from securing a test series win in India. You can spout your crap all day long but those statistics make pretty good reading for any fan of the SA test cricket team. Now stop spouting your ignorant rubbish on your boss's computer and get back to work.

  • RG - 2010-02-17 13:54

    Hope they can hold out for a draw! Deserve some luck this time. Rain robbed us a series equalling victory in Australia 4 or so years ago in Sydney. Oh how the ozzies gloated about that series win in the end. May the rain gods smile on the Proteas. Come on guys, I know you can bat out the day and score BIG, even if the sun shines all day. You have done it before. Prince and Amla, you guys got the right stuff! To all those who say the Proteas are lucky, lick my hairy left nut! Common lick it! They deserve their ranking. Middle finger to you all, including JZ and JM for that matter ... lol. Oops, they might just raid my house and throw me into jail. Showerhead JZ and Platkop JM are all you sorry ass detractors rulers ... how sad. LOL!

  • Seeps - 2010-02-17 13:54

    The man you're a twit seriously dude. India can't really lay stake to being the best in world as firstly in the time we were overtaken we hadn't played test cricket for about 4 months or something, Secondly they managed to beat the MIGHTY MIGHTY West Indies, New Zealand and Bangledesh in those series...... WOW!!! Now those are world scaring teams at the moment hey man? We have managed to consistently beat the English away and I'm pretty sure when we meet the Aussies we going to give them a good go again. Name 5 decent black cricketers that could make the SA team in place of the current 11? Thami is Cr@p oke so don't even start with that one cos I know you give him shots during the off season. So ANOTHER 5 ethnic black players - name them......... I am black by the way and I play the game knob jockey

  • leslie - 2010-02-17 13:56

    @THE MAN................. u still an idiot. amla,peterson,prince and duminy are all " WIT"... idiot!

  • Protea - 2010-02-17 13:57

    It all comes down to the rock Amla if he goes out early tomorrow the rest of the batsmen may fold soon after. Another 100 from amla with Prince, Duminy and devilliers digging in and the test can be saved. They just need to hold out for Two sessions with bad light in the final session a major factor.

  • niels - 2010-02-17 13:58

    @THE MAN Ja boet. And the world won't be round until SOMEBODY PROVES TO YOU THAT IT ISN"T FLAT.

  • faizal - 2010-02-17 13:58

    mundo.... lets have a bet we will draw??????????????? people foget the outstanding 1st test and that india hardly ever get beaten in their own backyard... well done proteas......much better than african mentality useless bafana.....

  • A Man - 2010-02-17 13:59

    Just one more day guys! pity again The Captain and Prince have FAILED!! if Smith was any other player of colour, he would've been dropped by now! A real captain is of the likes of who performs every match,on a consistent basis. not one who's placed because of his colour and arrogance(thinking himself to be the best in the world)

  • just cricket - 2010-02-17 14:02


  • Rang - 2010-02-17 14:12

    All of you out there, I know “THE MAN”. He is not even a man, only a big mouth teenager throwing his weight around. He is failing at school too. This is all he can do. It’s his daily drug of mocking all, and his white on top of that... Don’t worry about him; I will go tell his mommy how he bunks school.

  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-02-17 14:13

    The fact is, South Africa won the first test.....India didn't! If rain helps SA to win the series...well that's the way the cookie crumbles. You certainly would not find India complaining if the boot was on the other foot. We have a lot of unpatriotic bloggers who should grow up - they are acting like children (probably, some of them are!).

  • THE MAN - 2010-02-17 14:15

    ok guys i will make you a deal, if the proteas are able to bat on for the day i will be nice and not make any more comments that offend you all ok...but if they loose well you know what to expect.

  • Boet - 2010-02-17 14:34

    @Rang - I am inclined to believe you. I suspected as much. The Man/Tshepo with an O is just a Troll looking for some attention. Hope we can survive tomorrow. If rain helps - great! We don't have a choice but to accept it when things go against us, so we should accept it gracefully when they go for us! Still a big mountain ahead!

  • Dgs - 2010-02-17 14:35

    I most certainly hope I am wrong, but I predict Prince and Duminy to fail again and SA to be bowled out for under 220 unless we get saved by the weather

  • @the man - 2010-02-17 14:40

    No deal girlfriend. We want you to keep up your clowning ways. Every village needs an idiot :D :D :D

  • Ollie - 2010-02-17 14:41

    @ The Man - none of the true cricket supporters actually care about your stupid comments POOR LITTLE MAN THAT THIS IS MOST PROBABLY THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN GET SOME ATTENTION.

  • van Tonder @ the man - 2010-02-17 15:35

    no that i'm not a proud fan of the proteas, but without your spews, this blog will be boring. i'm therefore caught between a rok and a hard place, because if we hold on 2moro i'll miss your k**k. however, on second thought, i don't believe you'll stop even if this match is drawn. nonetheless keep that nonsense coming!

  • Mundo - 2010-02-17 15:51

    @Faizal. Sure lets bet.. I bet my car and my house.. What do you bet???

  • Faizul Hosein - 2010-02-17 22:05

    Looks like the Proteas have 20% chance of saving the match, the weather permitting.

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