Makhaya Ntini struck twice before bad light took another huge chunk out of play on the fourth day of the second Test between South Africa and India at Kingsmead here on Friday.
India were 38 for two after being set to make 354 to win.
Ntini dismissed Virender Sehwag before tea and then claimed the key wicket of Indian captain Rahul Dravid after the interval, just eight balls before play was called off early for the fourth successive day, with 35 overs still due to be bowled.
Dravid, the victim of a dubious lbw decision in the first innings, appeared to be unlucky again. He was drawn forward by Ntini and was given out by umpire Asad Rauf, although replays suggested his bat had made contact with his pad and not the ball.
South Africa’s declaration left India, leading the three-match series 1-0, with a nominal 146 overs to make the runs or keep out the bowlers but given the weather pattern it seems unlikely that a full day’s play will be possible on the final day on Saturday (today), when 98 overs are scheduled to be bowled.
It was the fourth successive day on which bad light cut significantly into playing time. A total of 102 overs have already been lost - more than have been required for any of the three innings so far. More cloudy weather is predicted for Saturday with possible showers.
Needing a win to have a chance of taking the series, South Africa batted aggressively despite losing six wickets for 44 runs at one stage before lunch.
Shaun Pollock made a stroke-filled 63 not out to enable South Africa to declare their second innings at 265 for eight.
Pollock shared quick-scoring half-century stands with Andrew Hall and Morne Morkel as South Africa recovered from a top order collapse.
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, India’s exciting young fast bowler, took three of the wickets as South Africa collapsed from 99 for no wicket to 143 for six. Sreesanth finished with four for 79, taking his tally for the series to 16.
VRV Singh made the first breakthrough, dismissing AB de Villiers for 47, before Sreesanth, 23, took three wickets in eight balls to plunge the home team into trouble.
One of Sreesanth’s victims was South African captain Graeme Smith, who emerged from a batting slump to make 58. Smith made his runs off 81 balls and hit 11 fours before trying to whip a straight ball through the leg side and having his off stump knocked back.
But Pollock regained the initiative for South Africa in a 99-ball innings which included 10 fours. Hall (21) helped him put on 70 in 68 minutes for the seventh wicket before Morkel (27) shared in a 52-run stand in 50 minutes for the eighth wicket.
The floodlights were turned on soon after India started their second innings.
Both Sehwag and Wasim Jaffer edged balls which fell short of the slip cordon and Sehwag edged one for four at catchable height through a vacant fourth slip, only to be caught off the next ball when he played forward defensively.
Dravid edged Andre Nel just short of Andrew Hall at third slip before he had scored. But his luck ran out in the fourth over after the interval when he was given out.
Jaffer, showing his best form of the tour, batted soundly to reach 22 not out. Ntini took two for 14.
South Africa won toss
South Africa 1st inns 328 (H H Gibbs 63, A G Prince 121, M V Boucher 53; S Sreesanth 4-109)
India 1st inns 240 (S R Tendulkar 63, V V S Laxman 50*)
South Africa 2nd inns (overnight 64-0)
*G C Smith b Sreesanth 59
A B de Villiers c Laxman b Singh 47
H M Amla lbw b Sreesanth 0
H H Gibbs c sub (KD Karthik) b Kumble 9
A G Prince c Ganguly b Sreesanth 0
†M V Boucher lbw b Khan 8
S M Pollock not out 63
A J Hall lbw b Sreesanth 21
M Morkel c Singh b Sehwag 27
Extras (b5, lb7, w7, nb12) 31
Total (8 wks dec, 67.4 overs) 265
Did not bat: A Nel, M Ntini
Fall: 1-99, 2-108, 3-121, 4-121, 5-140, 6-143, 7-213, 8-265
Bowling: Khan 20-5-65-1 (2nb, 2w); Sreesanth 19-3-80-4 (1nb, 1w); Singh 10-2-64-1 (7nb); Kumble 16-4-37-1 (2nb); Sehwag 2.4-1-7-1
India 2nd inns
W Jaffer not out 22
V Sehwag c Smith b Ntini 8
*R Dravid c Boucher b Ntini 5
S R Tendulkar not out 0
Extras (b 2, lb 1) 3
Total (2 wkts, 13 overs) 38
To bat: V V S Laxman, S C Ganguly, †M S Dhoni, A Kumble, Z Khan, S Sreesanth, V R V Singh
Fall: 1-14, 2-34
Bowling: Nel 5-1-17-0; Ntini 6-2-14-2; Pollock 2-1-4-0
Test debut: Morne Morkel (South Africa)
Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and M R Benson (England). TV umpire: I L Howell. Match referee: R S Mahanama (Sri Lanka)
First Test match: December 15-18 Johannesburg, India won by 123 runs
Third & final Test: January 2-6, Cape Town
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Saturday, December 30th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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