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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

SA Series - Two days to break the deadlock

Sachin Tendulkar and an Indian teammate suppor...We are good on 4th January
What a test match this has been !! Whatever happens over the next two days, this series will definitely go down as one of the most gripping tests played in recent times by the two best teams in the cricketing world. High-class fast bowling against top-class batsmen who were determined to grit it out. The match situation after the first two innings was also even-stevens - India had a token two-run lead over the Proteans.

If Jacques Kallis scored a masterpiece yesterday, Sachin Tendulkar followed up with his own spectacular century today. Sachin attacked the bowling when bad balls were given by the batsmen while toiling hard against the seam and swing of Steyn and Morkel. This knock will give him great delight for it helped the Indians reply strongly to the first innings score of South Africa and come back into the match.

Gautam Gambhir did his bit by partnering Sachin in a partnership that wore down the strike bowlers, making the Indians favorites to come on top. He fell to what Prem Panicker calls it as the 'third-bowler syndrome'. After facing the more dangerous bowlers, the opener fell to Paul Harris, who finally managed to turn the ball.

Dale Steyn, after being denied in the morning, came back to take the wickets of Pujara and Dhoni. VVS Laxman became a casualty like Kallis in the second test match - dismissed by a shot from the maestro. It was then, Harbhajan came out to join Sachin Tendulkar at the crease. The two have not made any big partnerships when they batted together on any day other than 4th of January - one century stand in 2008 and a fifty partnership today. Zaheer Khan threw his bat around to take the lead for India.

When South Africa came out to bat, the openers did well to make runs quite easily. Until Harbhajan was introduced to the attack. He quickly struck twice to reduce the South Africans to 52 by the close of play. An interesting day to look forward to, on the morrow.

The luck that I mentioned yesterday continued with the Indians again today - the example today was the failure of the bails to fall down despite the ball hitting Harbhajan's stumps. The pitch has started playing tricks, especially the wicket of Harris of the bowling of Harbhajan Singh was alarming for the South Africans. If the Indians can take early wickets in the morning, the pressure is squarely on the Proteans.
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