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The Bulletin by Sriram Veera
January 12, 2011
South Africa 289 for 9 (de Villiers 76, Duminy 73, Amla 50) beat India 154 (Kohli 54, Tsotsobe 4-31) by 135 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
India had to survive the new ball if they were going to make a fist of chasing 290 but they were gasping for breath within 11 overs, after slipping to 43 for 4, and never quite recovered. South Africa had threatened twice to run away to a mammoth total in their innings. India pulled them back on both occasions to keep the target below 300, but the chase went nowhere. South Africa were 82 for 2 in the 14th over before Munaf Patel removed Hashim Amla to slow the innings down, but the hosts bounced back to reach 213 for 3 in the 36th over, when AB de Villiers fell and India clawed their way back once again.
The ball was expected to do a bit under lights and the top order, barring Virat Kohli, collapsed without much fight. The dismissal of Yuvraj Singh perfectly captured South Africa's dominance on a bouncy track. Morne Morkel got one to kick up and jag away from Yuvraj, who got his feet into an awful tangle, and ended up stabbing the ball to first slip.
It was that kind of a night: the India batsmen struggled to adapt to the conditions and they went down in a heap. M Vijay was trapped in front in the first over of the innings by a full delivery from Dale Steyn and Sachin Tendulkar perished to a pre-determined move to shuffle across his stumps. There was a short fine-leg in place for Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Tendulkar moved across to drag a short-of-length delivery past that fielder but only succeeded in top-edging a dolly to Steyn.
India recovered from 13 for 2 to reach 41 without further damage but a double strike by Morne Morkel pushed them further back. Morne had hustled and hurried Rohit Sharma into having a few injudicious wafts outside off but Rohit was eventually unlucky to be given out, caught behind by AB de Villiers. It was a gem of a delivery that kicked up and straightened just outside off and Rohit hit his pad with the bat as he pushed inside the line but the umpire mistook the sound for an edge.
Yuvraj proved a walking wicket in these seaming conditions and India were left staring down the barrel after MS Dhoni's run out just before the half-way mark. Kohli hit a straight drive but the bowler Wayne Parnell got a hand on it to accidentally run out Dhoni and leave India with a mountain to climb. Kohli hung around for a while but once he fell to Steyn, the lower order just crumbled.
South Africa's bowlers blew away India but it was their batsmen who set up the win. It was a fascinating late afternoon at Durban after Amla's exit. There was an imminent threat of a collapse in the air: South Africa had a long tail, JP Duminy can be an iffy starter against spin and the ball was starting to stop on the batsman a touch. de Villiers and Duminy initially batted like men who were aware of these threats. They added 47 runs in a little over 12 overs and the hosts had reached 132 for 3 in 25.4 overs when a single shot turned things around for them. de Villiers charged down the track to Harbhajan Singh and didn't quite seem to connect well, but his sliced golf shot sent the ball into the screaming fans beyond long-off. When Duminy slog swept Yuvraj Singh for a six in the next over, it was official: they had broken free of the shackles.
They followed it up with a smart move: they took the Batting Powerplay in the 28th over and looted 45 runs off the five overs. de Villiers made 28 of them, with a hat-trick of fours - a pull, a skillful inside-out hit over cover, and a slice over point - against Ashish Nehra in the final Powerplay over to leave South Africa sitting pretty at 192 for 3.
Things were looking dire for India and Dhoni decided to bring in part-time spinners Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina. de Villiers pulled Rohit straight to deep midwicket in the 36th over, David Miller played inside the line to lose his off stump against Raina in the 39th, and then in the 42nd Duminy missed a reverse sweep and was trapped in front by Rohit. The tail didn't have the skill to add too many and South Africa meandered along to their final score.
It was quite a contrast to the frenetic start to the innings, with Amla going after Nehra in some style. The bat-speed was rapid, and time and again he played on the up and through the line. There were some trademark cover drives on a stretched front foot and the highlight was the hat-trick of fours he unleashed against Nehra in the seventh over. Amla whacked a short ball to the midwicket boundary, then walked down the pitch to lace a length delivery to the left of mid-off before he pinged that region with an off drive. There was a caressed straight drive for three runs in the same over and he put away a couple of slower ones from Munaf for boundaries. His dismissal put pressure on the middle order but de Villiers and Duminy ensured that their bowlers had a score to defend.
Stats highlights from the first day of the second Test between Australia and India in Brisbane