India reclaim the No. 1 Test rank

Written by: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee
Published: Thursday, February 18, 2010, 17:51 [IST]
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India reclaim the No. 1 Test rank

If the supporters of the Twenty 20 felt Test cricket was boring they should have watched the second test between hosts India and South Africa at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. It tested the patience and temperament of both the sides with the hosts converting a draw into a win. The win not only means that Team India have drawn level in the two match Test Series but also retain the No. 1 tag in Test match cricket. This after the team had suffered a humiliating innings defeat in the first test at Nagpur only a week ago.

The match went right down to the wire and would have made the strongest of fans bite their nails. India won the thrilling encounter by an innings and 58 runs with just nine more balls to be bowled in the day. The visitors almost pulled off a draw with Hashim Amla and Morne Morkel frustrating the Indians with a last wicket partnership which lasted nearly 20 overs. In the end Harbhajan Singh brought memories of the 2001 Test match versus Australia to trap Morkel plum in front of the stumps ending South African resistance.

India vs South Africa, 2nd Test - Scorecard

South Africans who had weather on their side on Day 4 did not have any reason to thank the weather god on the last day as the Kolkata sun shone as bright as ever. Resuming 115 for three after conceding a mammoth 347-run first innings lead, Amla and Ashwell Prince kept the bowlers out in the morning and it was only 40 minutes before lunch that Amit Mishra go the break after which Harbhajan Singh was again on song in his favourite ground.

The South African lower middle order found it too hard to deal with the Indian spinners in the lunch session and post test sessions as wickets kept on falling at one end with Amla was left stranded in the other. Proteas provided stiff resistance thanks to a marathon innings of 127 off 394 balls that Hashim Amla played. In the end Amla ran out of partners and conceded victory to the Indians. He toyed with the Indian attack right throughout the series scoring 494 with three centuries having been dismissed only once.

The win has made Indian the No.1 ranked team in Tests cricket. This after the team had earned severe criticism outside the sub-continent over it's elevation to the number one spot. The series has been nothing but eventful with fortunes swinging from one side to the other with the series being settled at one each. India will take the advantage into the one day series having won the last match in the two match series.

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