Kirsten puts SA in strong position vs India

Published: Sunday, November 25, 2001, 3:04 [IST]
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Centurion: South Africa moved into a strong position on the second day of its unofficial Test against India at Centurion Park on Saturday.Opening batsman Gary Kirsten made 90 as South Africa took a first innings lead of 29 runs, reaching 261 for four at close of play in reply to India's 232. Kirsten and in-form Herschelle Gibbs put on 135 for the first wicket in 35 overs as South Africa made a brisk start to its innings. Gibbs, who made centuries in both the official Tests between the two countries, made 59 off 111 balls with 10 fours before he skied an attempted pull off Javagal Srinath to fine leg. South African debutant Jacques Rudolph, 20, survived a confident lbw appeal from off spinner Harbhajan Singh off the first ball he faced but the left-hander then batted impressively as he made 21 off 38 balls with four fours. Rudolph's innings ended unluckily when he was run out after Kirsten called for a risky second run to midwicket. Substitute Ajit Agarkar swooped with an athletic pick- up and threw in to the bowler's end where Rudolph was well short. Kirsten was in fluent form as he scored his 90 runs off 155 balls with 13 fours and a straight six when he used his feet and danced down the wicket to Harbhajan. He was out soon after tea when he was forced onto the back foot by left-arm pace bowler Ashish Nehra and edged a catch to first slip. Jacques Kallis and Neil McKenzie both batted solidly, however, posting a 66-run partnership in deteriorating light before McKenzie was caught at slip off a Sachin Tendulkar leg spinner for 33 in the last over of the day. Kallis was unbeaten on 41. Earlier, it took South Africa 28 minutes to finish off the Indian innings after the tourists resumed at 221 for eight. Ashish Nehra was caught at first slip by Nicky Boje off Mornantau Hayward for four. Javagal Srinath, who retired hurt Friday afternoon after being hit on the left hand by Hayward, did not resume his innings. But Srinath opened the bowling for India with strapping on the hand.

AFP Copyright AFP 2001

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