Anil Kumble took four wickets as India squeezed out a potentially crucial 41-run first innings lead on the third day of the third and final Test at Newlands on Thursday.
India successfully employed strangulation tactics as South Africa were bowled out for 373 shortly before the close, with veteran leg-spinner Kumble taking four for 117.
South Africa had three productive partnerships but on a slow pitch, each time a wicket fell it led to at least one more soon afterwards.
Three key wickets fell during the afternoon after India delayed taking the second new ball. Sachin Tendulkar made a key breakthrough when he had Jacques Kallis caught on the midwicket boundary in the 93rd over - 13 overs after India could have opted for a new ball.
Kumble bowled Ashwell Prince in the next over and part-time off-spinner Virender Sehwag struck a third blow to South Africa’s hopes when Herschelle Gibbs was given out caught at short leg four balls before the interval.
Kallis (54) and Prince (26) had put on 83 for the fourth wicket and were slowly regaining the ascendancy for the host nation when India struck.
It was India’s second double strike of the day. South African captain Graeme Smith was out for 94 in the morning and was soon followed by Hashim Amla, who made 63. The pair put on 159 for the second wicket.
India had already managed to slow down South Africa’s scoring after dismissing the aggressive Smith, who made his runs off 141 balls, but it seemed surprising they did not call for a new ball as Kallis and Prince dug in.
But continuing with the old ball, with slow bowlers in action, had the effect of making scoring difficult and Kallis was out in uncharacteristic fashion when he lost patience against Tendulkar, who was bowling leg breaks. Kallis had made a careful 54 off 128 balls.
Prince was even more watchful, making 26 off 112 deliveries before he tried to play a forcing shot off the back foot against veteran leg-spinner Kumble and edged the ball into his stumps.
Gibbs was unlucky to be given out by umpire Daryl Harper as it seemed the ball had missed his bat and gone to short leg fielder Wasim Jaffer off his thigh pad.
Mark Boucher and Shaun Pollock put on 69 for the seventh wicket and eventually forced Indian captain Rahul Dravid to call for the second new ball after 115 overs.
It soon brought the wicket of Pollock, caught at first slip off Zaheer Khan.
Boucher went on to make 50 before edging a catch to Karthik off Munaf Patel.
Then Kumble wrapped up the innings by dismissing Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini off successive balls in the next over. South Africa, seeking a win to break a series deadlock, started the day confidently after resuming on 144 for one with Smith and Amla pushing the score along steadily before Kumble had Smith caught by a diving Sehwag at short midwicket.
Smith seemed set to score his first Test century since April 2005 but with Kumble bowling from around the wicket into rough outside the left-hander’s off stump, Smith hit a low catch to Sehwag.
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth came on to bowl and had Amla caught by wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik. He made 63 in 212 minutes off 174 balls with seven fours.
It was Sreesanth’s 18th wicket in three matches, equalling the record for an Indian bowler in a series against South Africa. The record was set by Kumble in 1992/93 and equalled by Javagal Srinath in 1996/97.
India won toss
India 1st inns 414 (W Jaffer 116, K D Karthik 63, S R Tendulkar 64, S C Ganguly 66, V Sehwag 40; S M Pollock 4-75, P L Harris 4-129)
South Africa 1st inns (overnight 144-1)
*G C Smith c Sehwag b Kumble 94
A B de Villiers c Karthik b Sreesanth 1
H M Amla c Karthik b Sreesanth 63
J H Kallis c Patel b Tendulkar 54
A G Prince b Kumble 26
H H Gibbs c Jaffer b Sehwag 7
†M V Boucher c Karthik b Patel 50
S M Pollock c Ganguly b Khan 31
P L Harris not out 11
D W Steyn b Kumble 1
M Ntini lbw b Kumble 0
Extras (b7, lb13, w1, nb14) 35
Total (all out, 128.3 overs) 373
Fall: 1-14, 2-173, 3-177, 4-260, 5-260, 6-281, 7-350, 8-372, 9-373
Bowling: Khan 20-3-74-1 (2nb, 1w); Sreesanth 24-9-58-2 (2nb); Kumble 42.3-6-117-4 (2nb); Patel 20-5-43-1 (4nb); Sehwag 12-0-31-1 (3nb); Tendulkar 10-2-30-1
Series: 3-match series level 1-1
Test debut: Paul Harris (South Africa)
Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and D J Harper (Australia). TV umpire: M Erasmus. Match referee: R S Mahanama (Sri Lanka)
Previous matches: December 15-18 1st Test Johannesburg, India won by 123 runs. December 26-30 2nd Test Durban, South Africa won by 174 runs
Source:The NewsMore on:Anil Kumble, India, India in South Africa 2006, South Africa
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