Pacers reduce India to 168/6 at tea

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Published: Sunday, December 26, 2010, 19:32 [IST]
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Pacers reduce India to 168/6 at tea

Bad news ensued for India in the over after lunch, as Lonwabo Tsotsobe returned from being smashed for a four by Rahul Dravid in his first ball to getting Sachin Tendulkar caught by Jacques Kallis at second slip. The visitors were not looking healthy at 79/3 in 19.5 overs as VVS Laxman walked to the crease.

Laxman got off the mark in aggressive fashion, striking Tsotsobe for two fours, one going between point and cover and the other, pulled through midwicket. But in the 27th over, the batsman got a reprieve when he top-edged a ball from Morne Morkel to just evade the diving Hashim Amla who ran in from short-leg.

In the 31st over, Laxman got on top of Steyn, striking him for a four past mid-off to take
India past 100, and then two balls later, dispatching him over square leg for a six. India were looking a stronger position now, at 109/3.

A few quite overs ensued till in the 37th over, Steyn saw the back of Dravid by getting him to poke at a widish delivery that picked up his edge and went safely in keeper Mark Bouncher's gloves. Dravid was on his way for 25 after being well-settled and India were in trouble again at 117/4.

Just four overs and 13 runs later, Laxman had to also head back to the shed when Steyn had him caught at midwicket for 38. The pacer had picked up his fourth wicket while India were floundering at 130/5. The new batsman Chesteshwar Pujara, didn't take long to settle in and together with captain M S Dhoni launched a counter-offensive. He struck Morne Morkel for two consecutive boundaries in the 47th over to take India past 150.

But his run came to an end when Tsotsobe had him caught behind for 19 in the 50th over. India were teetering on the brink at 156/6 as Harbhajan Singh strolled to the crease. He stuck it out with Dhoni for the remaining three overs to tea with India at a precarious 168/6 in 53 overs. The visitors would be hoping to play out the last session of the day without getting bowled out. But the odds have stacked heavily against them, especially with Steyn and Tsotsobe bowling so accurately.


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