India cut a sorry picture at Motera

Published: Thursday, April 3, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Kallis and AB de Villiers consolidated South Africa's position with half-centuries after Dale Steyn sparked a sensational Indian collapse in the second Test Thursday. Bangalore: South Africa dictated the terms to India from the word go. The tourists pace attack - Steyn (5/23), Ntini (3/18) and Morkel (2/20) - skittled hosts for a paltry 76 and passed the baton to batsmen who did a commendable job on a seaming wicket to help their side reach a comfortable 223/4 at stumps on day one of the second Test at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

Jacques Kallis (60) and AB de Villiers (59)were at the crease with an unfinished 106-run stand for the fifth wicket.


Indian batting tale was none better then a highschool stuff. And all credit to SA seamers who sticked to the basics bowling just outside the off stump corrider inducing the Indian batsmen commit the age old mistakes. Ntini, Steyn and Morkel produced a fiery spell of pace bowling to bowl out hosts to the paltry 76 in just 20 overs - mind you this is no Twenty20 tie.

Steyn, who rattled Indians with pace and inswingers, reaped a rich harvest of 5/23. Ntini (3/18) with his big inswingers scripted the collapse while young Morkel (2/20) accounted for well set Dhoni and Kumble.

Only Pathan, who replaced injured Tendulkar, had the stomach to fight but he was left stranded at the crease with 21 as Steyn polished the tail in quick succession.

South Africa raced to 78/0 a run more than the India's first innings total as openers Smith (34, 6X4s)) and McKenzie (42, 8X4s), fresh from their world record stand for the opening wicket against Bangla, yet again provided a solid platform to build on. Harbhajan revived India's hopes to peg the tourists back with three quick wickets to reduce the tourists to 117/4.

However the veteran Kallis and AB de Villiers stuck to their task and ensured no further damage for their side forging a fine partnership. The duo after seeing off the early scare counter-attacked Indian bolwers especially spinners. Kallis' 124-ball innings was inclusive of five bounadry hits and one massive six over mid-wicket off Harbhajan. AB's 102-ball vigil yielded him seven boundaries.

Sreesanth sent Smith back to SA dugout trapping the stylish southpaw plumb infront.

Harbhajan then removed the dangerous McKenzie just before the tea break. McKenzie was undone by a big turner from Bhajji that kissed the bat en route to the Dravid's safe pair of hands at slip. Bhajji then accounted for Amla and Prince in the first 10 minutes of the final session.

Earlier, the SA seamers made most of the conditions on a seamer-friendly wicket besides spineless Indian batters made their task easy.

India skipper Anil Kumble, who was declared match fit, was ill-advisedly opted to bat first on a seamer-friendly strip. Hosts lost both the openers within the first five overs.

Ntini started the rot dismissing Jaffer caught Smith in slip cordon for nine in the fourth over of the innings. In the following over
Steyn accounted for dangerman Sehwag after the triple centurion dragged the inswinging delivery on to stumps.

Ntini then sent the old horses Laxman and Ganguly packing in the eventful eighth over of the innings to leave India reeling on 30/4.
Dravid, who failed to read the wicket despite spending some time on the wicket,was bowled through the gates to disturb 'The Wall's off stump.

The first change bowler Morne Morkel too joined the party removing Dhoni for a regulation caught behind and then bowled skipper Kumble.

Steyn then chopped off the tail to skittle out India for their lowest total against the African giants.

India picked all-rounder Irfan Pathan ahead of Yuvraj and Mohd Kaif on a 'sporting' wicket.

The tourists retained the team that rallied for a draw in the opening game.


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