India peg back South Africa with three quick wickets

April 11th, 2008 - 4:58 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh
(Lead, Tea Report)
By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Kanpur, April 11 (IANS) Indian bowlers struck back against South Africa in the second session on the opening day of the third and final Test here Friday, taking three quick wickets to reduce the Proteas to 175 for four at tea. Yuvraj Singh, Ishant Sharma and Harbhajan Singh took a wicket apiece as South Africa lost captain Graeme Smith (69, 8×4s, 2×6s), Hashim Amla (51, 6×4s) and danger man Jacques Kallis in a span of five overs.

In the second session, South Africa scored 95 runs at the Green Park Stadium. In the opening session, the Proteas had scored 80 for the loss of Neil McKenzie (36, 5×4s).

Earlier in the morning, Smith and McKenzie gave their team a solid start of 61 runs after South Africa won the toss and batted on a pitch that has been prepared to help the Indian spinners.

The Smith-McKenzie partnership was broken by leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, selected to replace an injured Anil Kumble. Chawla deceived McKenzie as the batsman danced down the pitch to hit him over the top and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, leading the side in the absence of Kumble, stumped him easily.

The first success in the second session came when left-arm spinner Yuvraj had a resolute-looking Smith caught by Wasim Jaffer at forward short leg.

Then, a fit-again Sharma bowled Amla and Harbhajan castled Kallis to put India back on track.

With South Africa leading the series 1-0 after their big win in the second Test in Ahmedabad, India are relying on spinners Harbhajan and Chawla to win the match and draw the series.

Dhoni introduced spin as early as the ninth over of the innings, a testimony to the Indians’ reliance on the slow bowlers. Harbhajan replaced Sreesanth and Dhoni brought in Chawla for Sharma for a double spin attack.

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