Sehwag turns on Chennai heat against Proteas

March 28th, 2008 - 4:56 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead, Tea Report)
By Anand Philar
Chennai, March 28 (IANS) Virender Sehwag struck a whirlwind 218 not out, smashing several records in the process, as India cruised to 309 for one at tea on the second day of the first cricket Test against South Africa here Friday. In notching his fourth Test double century, Sehwag demonstrated his talent and ability as he tore into the South African bowling to become the highest Indian scorer in an innings against the Proteas, overhauling Sachin Tendulkar’s 169 at Cape Town in 1996-97.

Giving him company at tea was Rahul Dravid who made a sedate 10, even by his standards. It took him 56 deliveries and 92 minutes.

In contrast, Sehwag’s 218 came off just 200 deliveries with the help of 34 boundaries and three sixes, two of them Friday and both off fast bowler Makhaya Ntini.

The lone success for South Africa in the second session Friday was the wicket of Wasim Jaffer who scored 73 (166 balls, 6 x 4), putting on 213 for the first wicket with Sehwag.

Jaffer played a loose shot to a Paul Harris delivery and was caught in the slips by Jacques Kallis.

But thanks to Sehwag’s pyrotechnics, India added 133 runs between lunch and tea as the South African attack wilted in searing heat.

Quite the best of Sehwag’s shots today were the two sixes off Ntini. The first was a lovely pick on the legs as he hoisted the ball high over square-leg and then he nonchalantly put his left leg out and slammed Ntini over mid-off.

There was never a chance that Sehwag provided through his knock that had the South Africans literally running for cover given the ferocity with which their bowlers were mauled.

Sehwag, who had scored 63 and 151 against Australia at Adelaide in his previous Test, was on 110 at lunch while a comparatively subdued Jaffer lent him excellent support in the morning.

The 30-year-old Sehwag was at his belligerent best right from the start and was not afraid to go for his shots. In fact, he got to his century with a six off Jacques Kallis, reminiscent of the six that he struck to get to his 300 against Pakistan in the Multan Test exactly three years to date.

For Jaffer, it was a welcome return to form following a sequence of eight innings without a half-century and a dismal run on the tour of Australia earlier this year.

Sehwag’s century came off 116 deliveries and contained 15 boundaries and a six, while Jaffer took 107 balls for his half-century and had five hits to the ropes and a six.

With the pitch playing relatively easy, the opening partnership of Sehwag and Jaffer surpassed their previous best of 129 against the West Indies last year.

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