Chennai: Virender Sehwag the plunderer remained unconquered on a blazing 309 off 292 balls while Dravid made a turtle-esque 65* off 181 as India raced to 468/1 on day three of the first Test against South Africa at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday.
Sehwag notched up the quickest triple ton in Test cricket in terms of balls faced. Viru reached 300 off 278 balls to eclipse the record held by Hayden (380) against Zimbabwe in Perth in 2003.
Viru's flowing innings was studded with a whopping 41 boundary hits and five towering sixes.
The Delhi swashbuckler, who was in murderous mood, made South African bowlers toil on a placid strip and hot and humid overhead conditions made the matter worst for clueless Proteans.
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Viru, who cut, drove, pulled, flicked with elan to the delight of nearly-packed Chidambaram Stadium, shared 213-run stand with Jaffer for the opening wicket stand and added an unfinished 255-run stand along with Dravid.
Jaffer (73) was the lone wicket to fall today caught Kallis at slips off Harris.
Earlier, South Africa riding on Amla's 159 and useful contributions from top-order batsmen made 540 in their first essy
Resuming at the overnight score of 82/0 the India openers meant the business from the word go. Jaffer pulled Ntini for four and he along with Sehwag belted SA pace spearhead Ntini for 22 runs in three overs. This prompted Smith for an early change and duly brought in Morkel. The opening duo played out the initial probing spell of Steyn and Morkel. At lunch India reached 176/0.
The left-arm spinner Paul Harris after an unproductive spell of six overs bowling over-the-wicket switched to round-the-wicket which immediatly yielded result when the batsman flirted an outside the off-stump line delivery to give a regulation slip catch.
The next man in Dravid struggled early on before finding his groove with a two classical off-drives off Steyn. However Dravid was content on playing a sheet anchor role to his partner who was busy doing bulk of scoring with ease. The raw pace and swing of Steyn and Morkel and steep bounce and in-cutters off Ntini proved ineffective as Sehwag meddled everything and anything unleashed at him and did it with sheer timing.
Harris bowled to a negative line pitching well outside the leg stump line so as to not to give any room for Viru to play freely in the last two sessions. This ploy did work in the post lunch session but yielded no results in the final session as Viru scored bulk of runs employing paddle shots and reverse sweeps to the perfection.
* Sehwag equalled his personal best 309 against Pak in Multan on March 28 2004. Interestingly he belted his second triple ton on March 28 too. Now call it a coincidence or...
* Viru now holds the record of highest individual score by an Indian in India. He eclipsed VVS Laxman's majestic 281 against Australia in Kolkata in 2004-05.
* Dravid, who took his career tally to 9,985 runs by stumps, needs only 15 more to become the sixth batsman in history to complete 10,000 Test runs.