Centurion: South Africa completed an innings and 73 runs win over India in an appropriately low-key ending to the unofficial Test at Centurion Park on Tuesday when India's last two batsmen did not go to the wicket because of injury. South Africa wrapped up the victory soon after lunch, beating looming storm clouds, which threatened rain later in the afternoon. South Africa led the official series 1-0 before the third Test lost its official status in a row over match referee Mike Denness. Tuesday's win was set up when India's three major batsmen, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Venkatsai Laxman, were dismissed before lunch. Javagal Srinath could not bat because of a broken left hand, which he suffered while batting in the first innings, while Venkatesh Prasad had a sore neck. Fast bowler Makhaya Ntini was South Africa's most successful bowler, dismissing Tendulkar and Laxman in the space of three overs. South Africa took the second new ball two overs before lunch and Mornantau Hayward had almost immediate success when Harbhajan Singh was caught down the leg side off his glove. India started the final day on 118 for two and suffered a setback when Dravid was bowled for 23 by a superb delivery from Mornantau Hayward. A fast, full-length delivery was angled in at the batsman and straightened off the pitch to hit the off stump. Tendulkar and Laxman put on 58 for the fourth wicket and South Africa seemed to have missed a vital opportunity when Gary Kirsten dropped a simple catch at gully off Tendulkar. India's star batsman was on 16 when he fended a lifting ball from Jacques Kallis in a gentle loop to Kirsten, normally one of South Africa's most reliable fielders, who fumbled the ball. Tendulkar made 40 before he misjudged an angled delivery from Makhaya Ntini, bowling from wide of the stumps, and was bowled without playing a shot. Four overs later, Laxman cut a short, wide ball from Ntini straight to Herschelle Gibbs at backward point and was out for 23. Kumble was no match for Shaun Pollock when the South African captain came on to bowl his first over of the day 40 minutes before lunch. Kumble edged the first ball short of wicket-keeper Mark Boucher, then edged two boundaries before being caught at first slip by Nicky Boje off the last ball of the over. Harbhajan Singh went on the attack against fellow left-arm spinner Boje, hitting four fours in Boje's first over. Harbhajan was dropped on 21 when he edged occasional leg spinner Jacques Rudolph to Pollock at slip but the new ball proved his undoing when he hooked at a short delivery.
| Copyright AFP 2001 |