South Africa hold swaySean Bennett |
After losing the first Test to the touring Indians, South Africa have bitten back. And, were it not for an unbeaten 46 from Sachin Tendulkar, the hosts would be well in command of the 2nd Test at the end of the second day.
Tendulkar’s innings coincided with the collapsing of India’s top order and followed Aswell Princes, who, supported well by debutant Morne Morkel, dragged South Africa’s effort up from below par. His wicket will be key on day three.
The day started with South Africa’s innings not in the greatest health, at 257-8. However, Ashwell Prince was 98 not out. Needing an ally from the lower order to frustrate the tourists, Prince was partnered by Morkel, who proved to be that ally. Morkel hit an unbeaten 31 in his first Test innings, allowing Prince to bring up his third century of 2006. The partnership between the pair brought 39 runs, pushing the South African score towards 300. They were broken up when Prince, having reached 121, chased a wide delivery from Sreesanth and found Laxman at second slip.
Morkel was joined by last man Makhaya Ntini, who put on 16 as a further 32 were added to frustrate the tourists further. Eventually Anil Kumble trapped Ntini lbw to end the South African innings for 328.
The reply couldn’t have started worse for the tourists, as opener Virender Sehwag received a wide one from Nel first ball and irresponsibly slashed it to de Villiers in the slip cordon. Nel claimed his second wicket shortly later when he trapped Dravid lbw for 11 to reduce India to 35-2.
There was never a better time for the genius Sachin Tendulkar to produce a good innings. Opener Wasim Jaffer was plugging away as Tendulkar found his feet at the crease. With the score on 61, though Jaffer (26) edged Ntini to de Villiers. VVS Laxman arrived at the crease and picked up were Jaffer left off though – keeping out 49 balls for 10, when stumps rescued him and Tendulkar. India finished on 103-3. Advantage South Africa. Let’s see what Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly have to say about it tomorrow.
South Africa 328 all out
Ashwell Prince 121, Herschelle Gibbs 63, Mark Boucher 53
Sreesanth 4-109 Anil Kumble 3-62
Sachin Tendulkar 46*, Wasim Jaffer 26
Andre Nel 2-26, Makhaya Ntini 1-12
South Africa lead by 225 runs