A perfect farewell for Kallis as Proteas beat India by 10 wickets

2013-12-30 15:52

India: 334 and 223 (Rahane 96, Pujara 32, R Peterson 4/74, Philander 3/43, Steyn 3/47)

South Africa: 500 and 59/0 (A Petersen 31*, Smith 27)

South Africa win by 10 wickets

South Africa clinched a 10-wicket win, claiming their first test victory at Kingsmead in Durban since 2008 thus giving Jacques Kallis a perfect parting gift.

While Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith knocked off the measly target, the victory was engineered by superb pace bowling by Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and some crafty spin by Robin Peterson.

The latter capped off a superb all-round performance with his four wickets, entrenching himself as a world-standard all-rounder.

It is a performance that will guarantee him a place for the first test against Australia at SuperSport Park, Centurion, on February 12.

Ajinkya Rahane fought against the dying light with a well-crafted 96. Having to shepherd the tail, he did so expertly and made sure the boundaries were being milked while wickets fell at the other end.

One of those wickets was Dale Steyn’s 350th test wicket with the victim being the hapless Ishant Sharma who was in no position to deal with a short ball.

Steyn became the joint second-fastest bowler, alongside Sir Richard Hadlee with 69 tests, to get to the landmark.

Rahane’s innings was ended when he tried to hoist Philander out of the ground, but the diminutive batsman had no other option with Mohammed Shami at the other end.

He raised 69 runs with the last three batsmen ensuring that India did not have to suffer the ignominy of an innings defeat. But he has cemented his position as India’s new number six batsman.

The runs were knocked off confidently and tea was the only disruption in the breaking of the victory stride.

It was a satisfying win for the Proteas, especially at a ground where they have struggled recently.

The pitch was never easy and the weather did not play ball at the best of times, but Kingsmead has again produced a result – this time a positive one for the Proteas.

They deserved it and fittingly, Smith was the one to hit the winning runs.

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