Sree hurts SA with bat and ball

Published: Sunday, April 13, 2008, 12:20 [IST]
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Kanpur: Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and Harbhajan Singh shared two early wickets to put South Africa under pressure on the third day of the final Test against India at the Green Park here on Sunday.

Paceman Sreesanth dismissed opener Neil McKenzie and off-spinner Harbhajan removed Hashim Amla, leaving South Africa struggling at 27-2 in their second innings at lunch after the tourists conceded a vital lead of 60 runs.

Skipper Graeme Smith was unbeaten on 10 at the break.

Sreesanth (29) earlier frustrated South Africa with a 46-run stand for the last wicket with Ishant Sharma (14 not out) as India were bowled out for 325 in their first innings in reply to the visitors' 265.

The last-wicket pair batted more than an hour in the morning session to thwart South Africa, adding 37 to their team's overnight total of 288-9.

South Africa needed the last wicket early in the morning to restrict India's lead on a pitch of uneven bounce, but nothing went right for them as a few edges eluded close-in fielders and a catch was held off a no-ball.

Sharma twice edged left-arm spinner Paul Harris past the slips for fours and then Smith reacted late to a Sreesanth edge at first slip off fast bowler Makhaya Ntini.

When Smith caught Sreesanth at mid-off off paceman Morne Morkel, it was declared a no-ball, much to the disappointment of the visitors.

South Africa eventually heaved a sigh of relief when Ashwell Prince caught Sreesanth in the covers off Harris.

India sprang a surprise when stand-in captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni opened the attack with Harbhajan, with four men close to the bat.

The move paid off as the spinner had Amla (0) caught by Wasim Jaffer at short-leg on the stroke of lunch.

Sreesanth took the first wicket when he trapped McKenzie (14) leg-before with a delivery that kept low.

South Africa lead 1-0 in the series following their win by an innings and 90 runs in the second Test in Ahmedabad. The first match was drawn in Chennai.

Brief Scores:

South Africa 265 and 27/2 (McKenzie 14, Smith 10 n o; Sreesanth 1 for 2, Harbhajan 1 for 18) Vs India Ist innings 325 all out (Ganguly 87, Laxman 50, Yuvraj 32, Dhoni 32, Sreesanth 29, Dravid 29; Morkel 3 for 63, Steyn 3 for 71, Harris 3 for 101).

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