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India close in on win
17 Dec 2006
By: Sean Bennett

Sreesanth starred once again as India edged themselves closer to victory in the first Test of their tour of Johannesburg.

Following the capitulation of the hosts in their first innings, the Indians increased their lead to 402 before their seamers, led by Sreesanth again, made inroads into the home side's top order.

The tourists only managed to add 90 runs to their overnight score of 146-5. VVS Laxman underpinned the innings with a good 73, supported well by Zaheer Khan and his useful 37 from number 9. The session of play was more memorable for the antics of two idiots - Sreesanth and South Africa's Andre Nel - which culminated in Sreesanth running down the pitch whirling his bat around his head, having struck Nel for a straight six.

He was not done for the day once he ran out of batting parnters, though. After Zaheer removed Gibbs without scoring, Sreesanth picked up where he left off yesterday. The first of his 3 wickets was South African captain Graeme Smith, chasing a wide one and guinding it to point. Amla followed, when Sreesanth got him to edge a nigh on perfect ball to Dhoni behind the stumps.

At 34-3, South Africa's hopes of chasing down the 402 needed were more or less gone. They were definitely gone after Sreesanth again snared Kallis. Ashwell Prince fought bravely though, with a gritty unbeaten 54. He, Mark Boucher (23 not out) and the South African tail are now the only remaining obstacles in India's path to going 1-0 up, with 2 days of the Test still to play.

India 249 all out
Sourav Ganguly 51*, Sachin Tendulkar 44
Shaun Pollock 4-39, Makhaya Ntini 3-57

South Africa 84 all out
Ashwell Prince 24, Shaun Pollock 21
Sreesanth 5-40, Anil Kumble 2-2

India 236 all out
VVS Laxman 73, Zaheer Khan 37
Shaun Pollock 3-33, Andre Nel 3-58

South Africa 163-5
Ashwell Prince 54*, Jacques Kallis 27
Sreesanth 3-47, Zaheer Khan 1-44

South Africa require 239 runs with 5 2nd innings wickets remaining

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