India takes 60-run lead; South Africa 27/2 at lunch

April 13th, 2008 - 2:33 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh
(Lunch report)
By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Kanpur, April 13 (IANS) India struck two vital blows in South Africa’s second innings after taking a 60-run lead on the third day of the third and final Test at the Green Park Stadium here Sunday. At lunch, South Africa were 27 for two with captain Graeme Smith batting on 10.

Pacer Sreesanth had Neil McKenzie trapped leg before for 14. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was surprisingly asked to bowl the first over with the new ball, dismissed Hashim Amla, to reduce the visitors to 27 for two.

Wasim Jaffer caught Amla at forward short leg in the last over before lunch.

Stand-in skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni surprised his opponents by asking Harbhajan to open the bowling along with Ishant Sharma. Sreesanth was brought in as the first change, replacing Sharma.

The pitch continued to behave erratically, with the odd ball keeping low or jumping awkwardly.

Earlier, Sreesanth (29) and Sharma (14) added 46 priceless runs for the last wicket after India resumed the day at 288 for nine. Both batsmen frustrated the South African bowlers, but were lucky as a couple of catches were dropped.

Sourav Ganguly was the top scorer with a gritty 87 while V.V.S. Laxman made 50 in India’s first innings.

Speedsters Morne Morkel (3-63) and Dale Steyn (3-71) and left-arm spinner Paul Harris (3-101) bagged three wickets apiece.

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