Bowlers take the spotlight on day two as Proteas totter and then recover a bit

2013-12-20 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — The ball yesterday dominated the second day of the first Test between South Africa and India.

Eleven wickets fell while only 238 runs had been scored.

In reply to India’s first innings score of 280, South Africa had 213/6 on the score board — a deficit of 67 runs.

At one stage — with the scoreboard on 130/1 — it looked as if South Africa were building up a solid lead, but cricket being a strange game, at 146/6 it became a game of survival.

Earlier, India only added 25 runs to their overnight score of 255/5. The last five wickets fell within 25 balls and for a mere 16 runs.

Only nine runs were scored during the first eight overs of the day, until Morné Morkel (3/34) struck and had captain MS Dhoni caught behind the wicket for 19.

That put the cat among the pigeons, with Vernon Philander (4/61) enticing Ajinkya Rahane (47, 200 minutes, 137 balls, 8x4) to nick a ball that swerved away. AB de Villiers gratefully took the catch.

With the next ball Philander trapped Zaheer Khan (0) plumb in front of his wicket and visions by the Indians of a score close to 400 disappeared like fog before the sun.

After merely an hour’s play it was South Africa’s turn to defend their wickets.

Graeme Smith (68, 187 minutes, 119 balls, 11x4) and Alviro Petersen (21) started cautiously. Smith received a painful blow on his knee when Khan (1/72) hit him.

Smith survived some awkward moments but after Petersen’s lbw, Hashim Amla helped him to rebuild a decent score. Their partnership provided 93 runs; but then Amla became the first of Ishant Sharma’s three victims.

It was the start of a massive collapse. Five wickets fell for 16 runs, three with the score remaining on 130.

Jacques Kallis only faced one ball, within which Sharma trapped him in front of his wicket. The same fate cost Smith his wicket when umpire Steve Davis lifted his finger to continue Zaheer Khan’s dominance over the SA captain.

Smith survived a fright on 19 when he was dropped by Ravichandran Ashwin in the slips from Khan’s bowling. De Villiers (13) became the fourth batsman who got out in the same manner and with Duminy (2) getting caught in the slips, India’s total of 280 looked like a score in the far off distance.

Some rescue work came from the recently married Faf du Plessis (17*,103 m, 55 b, 1x4) and a man with a severe toothache, Philander (48*, 100 minutes, 76 balls, 5x4).

They managed to survive the last hour-and-a-half with an undefeated partnership of 68 runs. Du Plessis was dropped in the slips on 17 shortly before close of play.


India first innings (o/n 255/5)

M Vijay c De Villiers b Morkel6

S Dhawan c Imran Tahir b Steyn13

C Pujara run out (Tahir/Amla)25

V Kohli c Duminy b Kallis119

R Sharma c De Villiers b Philander14

A Rahane c De Villiers b Philander47

MS Dhoni c De Villiers b Morkel19

R Ashwin not out11

Z Khan lbw b Philander0

I Sharma b Philander0

M Shami b Morkel0

Extras (b4, lb6, w14, nb2)26

TOTAL (all out in 103 overs)280

Fall of wickets: 1-17 (Dhawan, 8.6ov), 2-24 (Vijay, 15.1), 3-113 (Pujara, 42.4), 4-151 (R Sharma, 53.2), 5-219 (Kohli 75.3), 6-264 (Dhoni 98.6), 7-264 (Rahane 99.4), 8-264 (Khan 99.5), 9-278 (101.6), 10-280 (Sharmi 102.6)

Bowling: Steyn 26-7-61-1 (2w), Philander 27-6-61-4, Morkel 23-12-34-3 (2nb, 2w), Kallis 14-4-37-1 (2w), Imran Tahir 8-0-47-0, Duminy 5-0-30-0

South Africa first innings

G Smith lbw b Khan68

A Petersen lbw b I Sharma21

H Amla b I Sharma36

J Kallis lbw b I Sharma0

AB de Villiers lbw b Shami13

JP Duminy c Vijay b Shami2

F du Plessis not out17

V Philander not out48

Extras (lb4, w1, nb3)8

TOTAL (for six wickets in 66 overs)213

Fall of wickets: 1-37 (Petersen 13.1), 2-130 (Amla 38.1), 3-130 (Kallis 38.2), 4-130 (Smith 39.3), 5-145 (Duminy 44.1), 6-146 (De Villiers 44.3),

Bowling: Khan 22-4-72-1 (1w), Shami 18-3-48-2, I Sharma 20-4-64-3 (3nb), Ashwin 6-0-25-0.

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