Rain halts Proteas~~ progress; SA 111 for two

Published: Saturday, January 6, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Cape Town:A South African charge towards a series-clinching win was halted by unseasonal rain on the fifth day of the decisive third and final Test against India at Newlands.

South Africa were 111 for two, 100 short of victory, when heavy rain started to fall, restricting the morning's play to 50 minutes here on Saturday.

Shaun Pollock was promoted to number four after a wicket fell with the last ball on the fourth day. It proved a positive move as he and South African captain Graeme Smith scored briskly to put on an unbeaten 56 in 50 minutes off 64 balls.

Smith, who made 94 in the first innings, was on 49 at the stoppage and Pollock was on 25.

Between them the pair neutralised the threat of Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble, with Pollock in particular using his feet and taking the attack to Kumble.

Pollock was beaten early on by a ball which drifted in and then spun past the bat but otherwise looked comfortable against Kumble and pace bowlers Zaheer Khan and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.

Bowling into a large patch of rough outside the left-hander's off stump, Kumble made one ball lift sharply to hit Smith's glove.

The ball went past short leg for a single to raise the 50 partnership. Another delivery kicked viciously, beating both Smith and wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik.

Smith was fortunate with the first ball he faced, scoring four runs off an inside edge against Zaheer Khan but he set the tone for the morning in Khan's next over when he thumped the bowler past extra cover for four and then played a wristy stroke behind square leg for another boundary.

At the stoppage, Smith had faced 72 balls and hit six fours, while Pollock had faced 36 deliveries and hit three boundaries.

Play started under clouds and the light became poor before a sharp shower drove the players off the field.


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