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Thursday, December 02, 2004

Cricket: India v. SA - 2nd Test - 4th Day

Category: Misc. Cricket

2nd Test - At close of play on the 4th day. 1st Dec.

The 2nd test is interestingly poised at the end of the 4th day's play.
South Africa is ahead by 66 runs with five 2nd innings wickets remaining.
Earlier, India was all out for 411 runs taking a 1st innings lead of a 106 runs.

Jacques Kallis was very lucky to survive a confident caught at forward short-leg appeal of Harbhajan before teatime. The television replays showed that he might have just nicked the ball, while trying to play a forward defensive shot, which took the pad.

South Africa was a 172 for 5 at close of play yesterday, with Harbhajan taking four wickets and Kumble taking one. Greame Smith played a captain's knock of 71 runs, and along with Jacques Kallis it looked like they would survive till the close of play. Harbhajan took the wicket of Greame Smith who was playing well and a couple of quick wickets in the final session of play have placed India in a winning position.

If South Africa score a 100 more, then a target of 170 odd runs in 60 overs on a final day turning track would be an interesting, but reachable goal for India. And if Virender Sehwag plays the way he plays, the pitch or its turn and bounce would be taken to the cleaners.

If SA gets Sehwag out early and then Dravid to come in the defensive mode, and an out of form Sachin, an enigmatic Laxman, and Ganguly who is suspect against short-pitch bowling; South Africa may also fancy their chances.

However, I feel anything under 200 on a final day pitch, even with turn and bounce is achievable. It will be a win for India. Let's see what happens.

I will post about the day's play in the evening.

Scores: 2nd Test. Close of play on the 4th Day. Eden Gardens, Kolkata. 1st Dec.
South Africa....1st Innings........305 all out
India...............1st Innings.........411 all out
South Africa...2nd Innings........172 for 5