Uneven bounce poses problems for India at Green Park

April 12th, 2008 - 6:26 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead, Tea Report)
By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Kanpur, April 12 (IANS) V.V.S. Laxman scored a flamboyant half-century as India made 165 for four at tea, in reply to South Africa’s first innings score of 265, on the second day of the third and final cricket Test against South Africa here Saturday. Laxman (50, 103 balls, 7×4s) and Rahul Dravid (29, 106 balls, 4×4s) added 78 runs for the third wicket. The Indian batsmen failed to read the uneven bounce of the pitch at the Green Park Stadium.

At the tea interval, Sourav Ganguly was batting on 26 and Yuvraj Singh was on 21.

In the morning session, India made a disastrous start by losing both the openers Wasim Jaffer (15) and Virender Sehwag (8) with just 35 runs on board.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn could have got Jaffer when he was on four. Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher dived to his left but dropped the ball as the batsman tried a flick.

Steyn, however, was rewarded in the fifth over when the ball kept a bit low and trapped Sehwag leg before.

Pacer Morne Morkel, in his first over of the day, accounted for Jaffer with a ball that came into him and hit low on his pad in front of the stumps.

Dravid and Laxman steadied India with some determined batting. The duo first played patiently to set their eyes on the pitch, which had some uneven bounce. But after that, the duo played some exquisite shots.

Just when Dravid and Laxman looked dangerous, disaster struck India. The two batsmen departed in a span of 16 balls and with the addition of just 10 runs.

Morkel dismissed both Dravid and Laxman to raise excitement.

Dravid was the first to depart, when a ball suddenly lifted from almost a good length spot and hit his gloves on way to A.B. de Villiers at gully. Dravid was in excruciating pain as he walked back to the pavilion.

Laxman followed soon as a swinging delivery from Morkel clipped the bails.

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