By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Dec 21, 2013
South Africa have gone into tea on Day Four of the first Test against India at 38 for no loss. The hosts are in pursuit of 458 to win the Test and have started off well courtesy Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen. Earlier in the session, India were bowled out for 421, which left South Africa with their eventual target.
India started the afternoon session on 358 for six with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni eyeing the 400 mark as the target for South Africa. Although he lost Ravichandran Ashwin early, he continued to attack the bowling and picked a few boundaries. The intent was clear: India had to get quick runs and set a huge total.
In that regard, Zaheer Khan was an able partner for Dhoni as he too started throwing his bat around. Dhoni survived a caught behind shout to Vernon Philander, although there was a definite noise when the ball went past the bat. Philander had his revenge though when Dhoni smashed a ball down deep extra cover’s throat.
However, Zaheer continued to attack and essayed a few great shots. There were a few that took the edge and went behind square for four. On one occasion Imran Tahir was carted over covers for maximum and then he smashed Dale Steyn into the stands at long-off. Tahir though had his redemption as he dismissed Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami to finish India’s innings at 421.
There was a change in tactics from South Africa as Petersen took strike to Zaheer Khan first up. Zaheer almost had Smith again as he glanced one off his pads towards Virat Kohli at a catching short fine-leg. The ball went quite quickly to him and he couldn’t hold on. Petersen though looked in good touch and hit a few boundaries. He was in better shape and worked anything off his pads.
South Africa need another 420 runs to win with four sessions to go in the Test match.
India 280 (Virat Kohli 119, Ajinkya Rahane 47; Vernon Philander 4 for 61, Morne Morkel 3 for 34) and 421 (Cheteshwar Pujara 153, Virat Kohli 96; Vernon Philander 3 for 68, Jacques Kallis 3 for 68, JP Duminy 2 for 87) lead South Africa 244 (Graeme Smith 68, Vernon Philander 59; Zaheer Khan 4 for 88, Ishant Sharma 4 for 79, Mohammed Shami 2 for 48) and 38 for no loss (Alviro Petersen 28*, Graeme Smith 9) by 419 runs.
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