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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Cricket: India v. SA 1st Test - 4th Day's Play

Category: Misc. Cricket

South Africa's Cricket Tour of India
First Test at Kanpur - End of the 4th Day's Play - 23rd November 2004.

India are 401 for 4 in their first innnings in reply to South Africa's score of 510 for 9 declared, at the end of the 4th day's play of the 1st test match in Kanpur.

Virender Sehwag carried on from last evening and played the only way he can - smashing the ball to all corners of the ground. Gautam Gambhir was unlucky to miss his century by four runs. Virender Sehwag went on to make a 164 runs. Saurav Ganguly finally got some bat on ball and was shaping well before trying an extravagant pull shot and holing out to the long leg fielder for an entertaining 57. Sachin was bowled by Andrew Hall for 3. Rahul Dravid - The Wall was unbeaten on 51 runs with VVS Laxman giving him company, when bad light stopped play at 04:35 pm on the 4th day.

This test is heading for a draw, unless India takes a lead of a hundred odd runs and puts South Africa in to bat on the fifth day turner, and hopes for a repeat of the last test match v. Australia when the bowled out Australia for under a hundred runs on the final day.

A draw is the most likely result. The South Africans would be happy with the result and the performances of Andrew Hall and De Bruyn. Andrew Hall's selection proved to be a master stroke by Greame Smith, as he not only scored a century (163 runs), but also went on to achieve the distinction of becoming the highest individual scorer for SA in test matches in India.

Our spin bowling has to fire for us to win the next test match. Murali Karthik bowled 42 overs without taking a wicket. Kumble took 6 for 131 and Harbhajan took 2 wickets.

The series with South Africa seems to be dull and uninteresting. Part of this is due to SA's defensive frame of mind, and the inability of our spinners to get them out. South Africa scored 300 odd runs in a day and a half of play, whereas with Australia the scoring pattern was almost four runs an over, 350 runs a day. South Africa have come with a relatively new team, and they are no longer the force they used to be in world cricket. However, our inability to force the pace on a turning track, made batting easy for South Africa. Why was Irfan Pathan not chosen to play the test match? We went with three spinners and Murali Karthik ended without a wicket in 42 overs. Gautam Gambhir played well for his 96 runs. He has cemented his place for the next test match.

Test matches versus Australia are always thrillers. However, they outplayed us this time around, with only a vicious turner getting us a victory in the fourth and final test match.

Australia is on a roll. They are the best cricket team in the world. They defeated New Zealand by an innings in the first test at Brisbane. Michael Clarke scoring another century and Adam Gilchrist playing a hurricane knock for one more ton at the number six position. New Zealand were bowled out for only 76 runs in their second innings.

Now, Australia have defeated India in India, and they are unbeatable at home.
Let's see what will be the fate of Pakistan when they tour Australia in December.

Scores: At the end of Day 4. 1st Test.
South Africa - 1st Innings..........510 for 9 decl.
India - 1st Innings.......................401 for 4