Proteas vs India: Day of landmarks

2013-12-22 19:59

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A historic final day of the first test match between South Africa and India was filled with landmarks and a rash error of judgement that settled the game. Khanyiso Tshwaku looks at the plays of the day.

300 wickets

Zaheer Khan is by and far the best fast bowler India has had since Kepi Dev. That master Proteas batsman Jacques Kallis was his 300th test wicket was testament to Khan's hard work.

How it came though, via an inside edge onto the pad, which was then given out by umpire Rod Tucker, was very confusing, but fitting because of the lack of the Decision Review System. Kallis wasn’t happy but Khan smiled his way into the record books. He is only one of four Indians to achieve the feat.

Record partnership

It took AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis 68 overs to compile an 89-run partnership to save the game against Australia in Adelaide last year. That was a defensive rearguard and in this offensive one, their 205-run stand took only 59.2 overs to compile.

It beat the record set by New Zealand’s Bev Congdon and Vic Pollard against England in 1973, where they put 177 together in a losing cause.

Ducking and diving

Du Plessis batted with a hand injury and the last thing he wanted was an injury from a team mate’s bat. De Villiers drilled one down the ground, which was excellently fielded by Ravichandran Ashwin.

However, Du Plessis dived out of the way even though the ball was stopped. Talk about taking self preservation to the extreme.

Lesson not learnt

Ajinkya Rahane proved to have the sharpest arm in the Indian team, running out Graeme Smith late on the fourth day; the warning of not running when the ball goes in his direction should have been heeded.

With four overs remaining, du Plessis timed one to Rahane at mid-off and like Smith, he could not beat the throw.

Direct hits are dangerous and the match changed. South Africa looked set for victory before the run-out but decided to go for the draw rather than risk losing the match with only three wickets remaining.

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