February 18th, 2010 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   1 Comment »
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Four centuries in the first innings by Sehwag, Sachin, Luxman and Dhoni gave India  a formidable 347  run first innings lead over South Africa at the Eden Gardens, Kolkatta.. In the second innings for S.A., it was only Hashim Amla who played a defiant knock of 123 not out. But apart from his performance, none of the other batsmen were able to withstand the jugglery of the spinning duo Harbhajan(5 for 59) and Mishra(3 for 78).

India’s main strike bowler Zaheer Khan was resting with a knee injury sustained yesterday and India were down to three bowlers. They still managed to pull off a miraculous victory with less than two mandatory overs to spare. Harbhajan Singh,bowled exceptionally well and took five wickets in South Africa’s second innings.

This win leveled the series and brought India to the number one spot in the world ICC rankings as the best test cricket playing team in the world.

It was Harbhajan Singh, who befittingly took the last wicket of the left-hand batsman Morne Morkel, who had delayed victory to India for more than an hour and put together a 76-minute last-wicket stand with Amla.

South Africa’s last three wickets batted out 53.3 overs to set up a beautiful Test-match finish. Hashim Amla, perhaps played the best

Hashim Amla

 innings of his career and despite various methods adopted by the Indian bowlers, they couldn’t get him out – and ultimately he ran out of partners. Even while walking back to the dressing room, the calm expression on his face was unchanged. Amla was declared the Man of the match as well as Man of the series.

It can be said that it was a match of wits between Amla and Harbhajan. If Amla never looked like getting out, Harbhajan never looked like allowing any batsman to settle.

Amit Mishra once again produced the special delivery out of nowhere, this time a googly to take out AB de Villiers in the penultimate over before the lunch break, the third time he had taken a wicket just before a break in the innings.

In the second spell, Harbhajan looked menacing with almost every delivery. After lunch, Harbhajan went on to get Duminy caught in front again. Later, Dale Steyn didn’t have a clue about deliveries spinning down the leg side, and kept getting beaten. Harbhajan smartly moved round the stumps, and trapped him leg-before.

Then Ishant Sharma managed to capture two wickets,  giving away  84 runs in the 2nd innings.

That started the most exciting period of the match. Morkel batted solidly along with Amla, they both judged the leaves well, they both defended with soft hands, they both frustrated India more with every passing delivery. Towards the end, Amla took a single late in a Mishra over to face Harbhajan in the next over, Dhoni removed Harbhajan and tried the part-time stuff from Sachin Tendulkar and Sehwag, and got Harbhajan to bowl at Morkel again.

Amla played out the next over and Harbhajan bowled an over  from the High Court End. The third ball of this over was the killer, a slider.  Morkel made his first mistake in 60 deliveries. Harbhajan looked skywards and roared like a lion after a kill.

India defeated South Africa by an innings and 57 runs in the Kolkata Test to level the series 1-1 and retain the top spot in the ICC Test rankings and Hashim Amla’s heroics went in vain.

Ravi Matah

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  1. Lin Says:

    Then Ishant Sharma managed to capture two wickets, giving away 84 runs in the 2nd innings.

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