Sehwag, 319, helps India take first-innings leadMarch 29th, 2008 - 1:39 pm ICT by admin
By Anand Philar
Chennai, March 29 (IANS) India ran out of steam after losing three quick wickets, including that of Virender Sehwag (319) and limped to 547 for four at lunch in their first innings, replying to South Africa’s 540 on the fourth day of the first cricket Test against South Africa here Saturday. Meanwhile, Rahul Dravid became the sixth player to cross 10,000 runs in Tests, but was one short of his 25th century at the lunch break. V.V.S. Laxman was the other unbeaten batsman at the interval, playing on six.
It was a typical Dravid innings marked by spells of watchful batting interspersed with aggressive stroke play while never seeking to dominate the bowling as India added just 79 runs in 25 overs, a far cry from Friday’s run-a-ball pace.
Earlier, bowling with the second new ball, Makhaya Ntini generated pace and lift to dismiss Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar (0) in eight deliveries to put the brakes on the Indian innings. Both were caught in the slips.
A little later, Sourav Ganguly edged left-arm spinner Paul Harris to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher as India slowed to a virtual crawl.
The huge turnout that was hoping to see Sehwag break Brian Lara’s record of 400 not out was left disappointed as the opener, looking stiff and rather tired after his marathon effort Friday, played just one aggressive shot for a boundary.
He then made room to cut-drive Ntini on the offside and only succeeded in nicking the ball to McKenzie to be out for a career-best 319 that surpassed the 309 he had scored against Pakistan at Multan four years ago.
Tendulkar never looked the part and belied all expectations by offering a low catch to Kallis for his 14th duck in Tests and third against South Africa.
Ganguly gave glimpses of his old self with a few boundaries, but in trying to cut left-arm spinner Paul Harris, snicked to the wicketkeeper after an unconvincing 24.
Thereafter, Dravid and Laxman played out the remaining time to lunch with India ahead by seven runs with only five sessions remaining in the match.
Tags: 25th century, batsman, brian lara, cricket test, far cry, glimpses, lunch break, lunch report, marathon effort, mark boucher, multan, offside, paul harris, remaining time, sachin tendulkar, stroke play, v v s laxman, virender sehwag, wicketkeeper, wickets