India tour of South Africa, 1st Test: South Africa v India at Centurion, Dec 16-20, 2010
South Africa won by an innings and 25 runs
16,17,18,19,20 December 2010 (5-day match)
  • Overs 0-50

Right. Match time under clear skies. Steyn has the ball. Three slips and a gully. Gambhir to face. I am Nitin Sundar bringing you the action, and Venkat Raghav is on scoring. No. 1 v No. 2. Here goes!

2.59 pm One minute to the start of play. Enough time to add @ESPNcricinfo to your twitter feed, where, among other things, you get to know toss news the moment the coin lands.

Our global audience might not have heard much about Unadkat. After an impressive show in the U-19 World Cup in New Zealand, he was handed an IPL contract with Kolkata Knight Riders where he impressed the bowling coach Wasim Akram. Unadkat was then picked for India A's tour of England in June 2010 and had a dream first-class debut, taking a match-winning 13 for 103 against West Indies A at Grace Road. No stopping him after that. This is a HUGE opportunity for the young man.

MS Dhoni: "Well of course, we would have fielded as well. The pitch looks good on the top, but there's plenty of moisture inside. We are quite happy with the preparation, despite the rain in the last couple of days. We are raring to go."

Graeme Smith: "Since the wicket is damp, we've decided to bowl. The ground staff have been incredible - getting the pitch ready and all the training facilities. We are coming off a tough time for bowlers in UAE, but we are geared up for the home season."

Pitch report: Mike Haysman runs his hand over a track that has a healthy green tinge to it. This is not going to be easy to bat on, especially today, given how moist the pitch will be. What the wetness means, Shaun Pollock tells us, is that there could be indentations opening up as the game goes on. The track was prepared a long time before the match, and now the extra moisture could lead to variable bounce as well. Hard grind coming up for the batsmen. Should be fun.

Squads: Lonwabo Tsotsobe is playing, as is Paul Harris. So is Jaidev Unadkat. Zaheer Khan misses out, so that's a huge blow for India.

Nishat: "If I had a penny for everytime Dhoni lost the toss, I could have given one of those pennies to MS for 'Toss practice'."

Toss: Graeme Smith wins the toss and South Africa will bowl. Fasten your seatbelts folks, for Sehwag v Steyn will be upon us soon. Meanwhile, Sid Monga, who keeps a close tab of these things, observes wistfully that MS Dhoni's abysmal luck with tosses continues. But he quickly adds, he's happy to see Sehwag face Steyn right away.

2.30 pm We should have the toss any time now. Sid Monga who's watching the proceedings at SuperSport Park like a hawk says Zaheer Khan is participating in the Indian side's warm-up routines. 48 overs expected. Play to begin in 30 minutes, i.e. at 3 pm.

Chaitanya: "Why does everybody blame the BCCI for ground drainage system? The current reality is that the grounds are not exactly owned by the BCCI. They are leased out for the match days and are limited to the funds the city/state organizations have."

My point, Chaitanya, is that it doesn't matter who own the grounds. BCCI's mandate (I believe) is to invest in cricket in India. And they have the money to make a difference. Buying a few big, leakproof covers won't be a dent on their coffers, even if they are for grounds that they don't own, technically.

The rain clouds in Centurion have a silver lining in India. Prashant Mahapatra: "Its good that we are hoping for the match to begin at 3 pm. Its the end of the office hours (6 pm) in india and we can enjoy the Sehwag-Steyn clash with a cup of tea at home." Well well, hope you enjoy Sreesanth v Petersen just as much. The toss has not yet happened.

2.15 pm: Cheers George. Ah for a nice, efficient drainage system! My mind goes back to the game between Chennai and Bangalore in the Champions League earlier this year when two hours of relentless rain stalled play. Once it stopped, the players were out in 30 minutes or so and the match resumed. Surely, there's a lesson in there for grounds in Asia, India in particular. The stadium in Galle, in Sri Lanka has invested in covers that protect the entire playing area. Surely, the BCCI can afford such frills.

2.05 pm: Sunshine. Blue sky. The umpires are out there having a look, stomping on parts of the outfield. There's a damp patch on the run-up and the umpire Ian Gould says the "big hope" is to start at 3.00 pm after inspecting the ground again at 2.20 pm. He's gushing about the groundstaff's effort. They have been spectacular. The rest of the ground is OK, and hopefully that problematic damp patch will disappear soon.

Right, I'm off to rest up before bulletin duty begins. Nitin and Abhishek will take over the commentary. Cheers and enjoy the game.

1.45 pm: Right. There will be another inspection at 2.20 pm. And if all is well, play could begin at 3.00 pm. That's the hope at the moment. Both teams are out on the field going through their paces.

So there's some time to kill and ESPNcricinfo's Youtube channel is not a bad way to do it.

1.40 pm: Lots of emails asking about the outcome of the inspection. I'm waiting to hear too. You'll know as soon as I do. I haven't gone to sleep. Deep breaths everyone!

1.10 pm: The teams have arrived. Graeme Smith, Corrie van Zyl, Gary Kirsten and Eric Simons are at the wicket.

"If the pitch is anything like this mornings WACA, good luck to the good batters in both teams," says Neelesh. Expect the captain who wins the toss to stick the other team in too. just to make use of the dampness.

1.00 pm: "Give the super-sopper to Dhoni. He is crazy about vehicles. The ground will dry up in 15 minutes," says Akshay. The ground staff are hard at work. They have to get the water off the covers and dry the outfield. Looking good though. The pitch is OK.

12.50 pm: Finally we have definite news. There will be an umpire's inspection of the conditions in 45 minutes. It really does look so much brighter. The morning was Hyde, the afternoon Jekyll.

12.35 pm: More of the same. No rain. The clearer weather continues and progress towards play is being made. They are beginning to take the covers off the square. No official word yet about any inspections.

12.20 pm: So now that the prospects of play have improved, although we don't have news of an inspection or a tentative start time yet, we can look ahead to Sehwag v Steyn.

12.12 pm: The super sopper is out doing its thing, super-sopping the outfield. Sunshine continues. The South African team is on its way to SuperSport Park. India are expected to leave Jo'burg at 12.30 pm.

12.00 pm: Sidharth Monga went for a short walk at SuperSport Park and could see his shadow. Covers are coming off, it is bright and sunny now. There are even some fans on the grass embankment. A small group.

"There are 313 "likes" now for the tent picture. It probably means that those 313 people like the idea of camping in a tent that stands on a rain soaked cricket ground while a few thousand watch them from the stands," says Aditya.

For football fans in the UK, you can be the first to see the Premier League goals on your mobile device minutes after they're scored- visit

11.47 am: The tent over the pitch has been removed. Better weather in Centurion. No rain. A tiny bit of sunshine even.

"The drainage facility at this ground is excellent. The BCCI, with so much money in their coffers, should invest in getting it installed in various grounds in India," says Musaddique, who makes an extremely pertinent point. Don't think any Indian venue could have recovered from this sort of downpour.

11.45 am: "Please do tell more on potential start times. Its 2.30 AM in Arizona, and I have a call to make regarding the when and why of sleeping," says Nilotpal.

"Really brightened up at Centurion. Rain stopped and skies lightening. Maybe we'll play," says Firdose Moonda from SuperSport Park. "I've just seen a bit of blue sky! And there's more coming. Clouds blowing away. Come on the sun."

We don't have word about start times yet. It's a bit early to tell.

11.20 am: Sid Monga brings better news. The rain has stopped. The bad weather is clearing. It is brighter and the drainage is at work. He says the outfield already looks much drier.

"There are 31 "likes" for that tent photograph. Does that mean people like the tent or they like it's raining?" wonders AaruC. Such are the idiosyncrasies for the Facebook generation. By the way, ESPNcricinfo now has a Youtube channel.

"Was wondering how it would be for ball-by-ball commentators during such rain delays ... must be similar to what we have at office when the server is shutdown for maintenance and we are asked to switch off the workstations. Do you gather around cubicles and discuss cricket?" asks Anirudh. Well there's other cricket to cover, and some cricket to play.

11.05 am: Photo evidence of the misery in Centurion. Here's a picture of the tent and covers. And here's one of the outfield.

"Ever tried doing a running commentary of the rain? You know if it looks like needles striking down on earth, or is it more like a lazy downpour, or is it like mist being blown by the breeze... it might help pass the time you know lol," chuckles Murali. Go on, give it a try, I'm sticking with the cricket.

10.52 am: "Could you please update every 5 minutes rather than every 15 minutes ... everyone is to curious u know!" asks Vivek. Curious to know that it's still raining?

"Despite the rain, I'm still somewhat positive after seeing the swimming pool that was Wanderers last year in the series against England. It was covered in water, but in a very short time it was just fine for playing," says Kaspar. Drainage in Centurion is good too, but it's still raining.

10.35 am: The groundsman, Hilbert Smit, says we can play about three hours after the rain stops. It needs to stop though ... Again, the forecast for tomorrow is brighter.

10.15 am: The outfield is a pond. It's still raining. There are covers everywhere, and a protective tent over the pitch. There's almost no chance of play today.

I wonder if India will rest Zaheer (even if he could play tomorrow) in order to get him fully fit for Boxing Day. I wonder if South Africa will play four quicks plus Kallis to exploit the damp conditions.

Mike Haysman has gone inside the tent protecting the pitch. There are heaters in there, keeping the surface warm. There is grass on the pitch and it's dry. He says it feels like a sauna. So the pitch is OK. The outfield and the weather, though, isn't. The forecast is better for tomorrow and day after. Clutching at straws.

9.55 am: The toss was supposed to happen at 10.00 am but that's not going to happen. In fact, we might be lucky if it happens at all today. Sidharth Monga says play is unlikely. If that's the case, India have a tiny silver lining: Zaheer Khan has another day to try and get fit. Trying to see what South Africa's silver lining is ...

"So excited for this series, really going to be brilliant and far more competitive than the Ashes. Here's to Steyn, Morkel and co. sending Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman into an early retirement! Let the battle begin," says Zubair via email, bracing for a volley of angry replies. He, as do we, will have to wait though for any battles to begin.

9.40 am: Good morning and welcome to ESPNcricinfo's coverage of India's tour of South Africa. In an ideal world, the sun would be shining in Centurion, the sky azure and the clouds absent. But it isn't an ideal world, is it?

It rained during the night. It rained in the morning. Some parts of the boundary had significant amounts of water on it. I've (George Binoy) had word that Firdose Moonda, our South Africa correspondent, is driving from Jo'burg to Centurion and the roads are flooded. Bad scene.

Meanwhile, Australia have just lost Ryan Harris in Perth. And are you following us on Twitter yet? @ESPNcricinfo


Steyn to Gambhir, no run, huge appeal first up. It could have been for a catch, it could have been for lbw. Lands on off stump, back of a length and holds its line as Gambhir prods tentatively across the line. Misses the angled face and grazes the thigh on its way to slip. Replays suggest that would have hit off. Hmmm.


Steyn to Gambhir, no run, fuller, on leg stump. Not much pace from Steyn, low 130s, and this could be a feature of this wicket. Gambhir squeezes it out to the leg side


Steyn to Gambhir, no run, more assurance from Gambhir, back of a length on middle and leg and he covers the line before working it softly to the leg side


Steyn to Gambhir, 1 run, Gambhir is away. Another one straightens in to his pads from middle stump and he tucks it crisply. Half stop at square leg saves the boundary, but he gets a single.

Here comes the big box office draw. S v S


Steyn to Sehwag, no run, quiet start. Steyn bowls his stock ball, shapes away from outside off at decent pace. Sehwag reaches out but chooses to let it go as it darts away


Steyn to Sehwag, no run, and again, sharpish movement, but it started well outside off and Sehwag again decides to leave after reaching out

End of over 1 (1 run) India 1/0

    • V Sehwag 0 (2b)
    • G Gambhir 1 (4b)
    • DW Steyn 1-0-1-0

Morne Morkel takes the new ball from the other end. Three slips again for Gambhir and a much wider gully. Round the stumps to start off.


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, 138 kph with his first ball, short and looks to angle it into Gambhir's body, but it strays down the leg side. Gambhir lets it go


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, 145 kph, the speed gun is getting tested early here. This time, Morkel pitches up and Gambhir is late to push forward as it comes in with the angle from off and middle. Stifled appeal, but that was safe


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, closes the face, and just in the nick of time. 141 kph and homing in on middle and leg, Gambhir works it to mid on. Will be a good idea to play with a straight bat on this wicket


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, this one's outside off and Gambhir is immediately more at ease, opens his face and squeezes it out to point


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, trust the speed gun at your own peril, this has clocked 151 kph! Even more surprising, considering Morne seemed to loose control and pulled it well short and wide outside off. Gambhir wants nothing to do with it


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, jaffa. That one takes off from a fullish length, it landed outside off at 141 kph and drew Gambhir into thoughts of a prod. He didn't have a chance. That zoomed away, missing the edge by not much

End of over 2 (maiden) India 1/0

    • G Gambhir 1 (10b)
    • V Sehwag 0 (2b)
    • M Morkel 1-1-0-0
    • DW Steyn 1-0-1-0

Steyn to Sehwag, OUT, Steyn 1, Sehwag 0! Sehwag left the first two go in the first over. Can't hold back this time. Gets one on a length, landing outside off and moving away a touch. He tries to go up and over with the upper cut. Hashim Amla was lurking at third man, not all the way back to the boundary. He was there specifically for this shot. Sehwag was not entirely to the pitch of it, and ended up scooping it in the air. Amla snaffles it. SA have struck a huge blow.

V Sehwag c Amla b Steyn 0 (9m 3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

My heart goes out to Sid Monga. Who surely wanted this to last longer. Dravid walks into a crisis. Three slips


Steyn to Dravid, no run, huge appeal first up, Dravid is trapped amidships, moving forward late to a length ball that's heading for off and middle. Gets into a tangle and is rapped in the pads. The appeal is not upheld. We await replays.


Steyn to Dravid, no run, a foot outside off, Steyn hits 141 kph this time, Dravid lets it go quietly


Steyn to Dravid, no run, and attacks the stumps again, Dravid is not fluent yet, gets half forward and ends up inside edging it to square leg. That could have snuck in quite easily


Steyn to Dravid, no run, fast and furious. Full outside off at good pace and Dravid leaves.


Steyn to Dravid, 2 runs, Dravid's away with a confident push. That was full on middle and off, Dravid leaned across with more assurance than before and presented the full face. It pinged off the middle and ran down the ground, just wide of mid on

End of over 3 (2 runs) India 3/1

    • R Dravid 2 (5b)
    • G Gambhir 1 (10b)
    • DW Steyn 2-0-3-1
    • M Morkel 1-1-0-0

Morkel to Gambhir, no run, Morkel again tails one wide down the leg side. Short ball, but not on the right line. Gambhir stays inside the line and lets it pass harmlessly


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, continues to keep it short at 141 kph, and gets it outside off, Gambhir decides early to let it go


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, here comes the sucker ball, at 139 kph and on a fuller length. Gambhir's feet are stuck on the feet and he feels for it with an awkward lean forward. Keeps it out to the off side


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, good shot, great fielding. Full again from Morkel, this time Gambhir is ready and drills it off the middle down the ground. Morkel goes down six and a half feet to stop it before it scorches the straight turf. Saves four runs. And denies Gambhir crucial confidence.


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, gets it outside off this time and Gambhir knows where his stumps are. He shoulders arms


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, back of a length and angling in, Gambhir is looking better than before as he defends it with the full face, without looking to work it across the line

End of over 4 (maiden) India 3/1

    • G Gambhir 1 (16b)
    • R Dravid 2 (5b)
    • M Morkel 2-2-0-0
    • DW Steyn 2-0-3-1

Steyn to Dravid, FOUR, 142 kph, Steyn gets the outside edge, but Dravid shows his class in dropping the wrists and ensuring it does not carry to the slips. That jumped up from back of a length and took Dravid by surprise as he looked to get over it off the back foot. But he ensured he did not go hard at it, and it bounces in front of the slips and races through the cordon


Steyn to Dravid, no run, full and fast, boy these guys are working up some steam here. Dravid sees it closely as it seams away from him after landing outside off


Steyn to Dravid, no run, this one angles in and holds its line. Classy stuff from Steyn, and another good leave from Dravid.


Steyn to Dravid, no run, pulls the length back, keeps the away seam movement going. Dravid stays in the crease, gets into position to deal with it in case it comes in. It doesn't, and he leaves


Steyn to Dravid, no run, shifts back to a fuller length, 137 kph it clocks before thudding into Boucher's gloves. Dravid leans across and shoulders arms


Steyn to Dravid, FOUR, Dravid picks four more with a timely drop of the wrists, to ensure his edge lands well short of gully and sneaks past him to the right. Frustration for Steyn, for though he's got two edges out of Dravid, the batsman was in complete control on both occasions.

End of over 5 (8 runs) India 11/1

    • R Dravid 10 (11b 2x4)
    • G Gambhir 1 (16b)
    • DW Steyn 3-0-11-1
    • M Morkel 2-2-0-0

Morkel to Gambhir, no run, Morne targets Gambhir's rib cage, and he manages to fend it away to the on side at the very last moment. Ungainly.


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, SA roar for caught behind and umpire Davis says no. Rip snorter of a bouncer, lands around off stump, holds its line and Gambhir instinctively brings the hands in front of his face before dropping it. That touched something on its way to Boucher. Could have only been the glove. India may have survived this one due to the absence of the UDRS.


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, outside off this time, a touch fuller on this occasion, but the angle is not forcing Gambhir to play at it instinctively. Lets it go


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, fuller ball on middle and off, Gambhir plays across the line but keeps it out


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, length ball on off stump, Gambhir stays in the crease and defends. He surely prefers it when the ball is not testing his body


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, Gambhir clips this off the pads, but Amla at short leg is all reflexes as he stops it from running away

End of over 6 (maiden) India 11/1

    • G Gambhir 1 (22b)
    • R Dravid 10 (11b 2x4)
    • M Morkel 3-3-0-0
    • DW Steyn 3-0-11-1

Sid Monga: "I don't think UDRS would have given conclusive evidence to overturn this decision." True. We'll never know.


Steyn to Dravid, no run, another outswinger that tails away menacingly from a foot outside off. Dravid leaves


Steyn to Dravid, 2 runs, Dravid goes past Lara in the all-time run-getter's list with a nice confident clip off the back foot as Steyn angles one into the pads. He gets it past Amla at square leg and it's an easy couple. Dravid is looking good.


Steyn to Dravid, no run, full on a length at 137 kph and Dravid unfurls the textbook forward defensive with a flourish. Not an inch between bat and pad. All ye IPL sloggers, here's the real deal


Steyn to Dravid, no run, back of a length, Steyn continues to get the away movement. Look out for the inducker. Dravid stays in the crease and shoulders arms


Steyn to Dravid, no run, more outswing from Steyn. Pushes this fuller and closer to off, not close enough to get a poke out of Dravid.


Steyn to Dravid, no run, 136 kph, around four inches outside off and fullish, close enough to get Dravid to lean out and defend to the off side. Compactness personified.

End of over 7 (2 runs) India 13/1

    • R Dravid 12 (17b 2x4)
    • G Gambhir 1 (22b)
    • DW Steyn 4-0-13-1
    • M Morkel 3-3-0-0

Dravid looking as solid as Gambhir is looking edgy. We haven't seen too many replays, but there's no real evidence that Gambhir edged it.


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, short again, outside off and Gambhir lets it pass by


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, Morkel delivers what can best be described as a spitting cobra. Lands back of a length outside off and takes off. It is headed for Gambhir's teeth and he does well to yank his head away and drop his wrists. Took his eyes off the ball though.


Morkel to Gambhir, 1 run, gets to the other side with a nudged single off the hips. Short ball again angling in, and he gets it past Amla at short leg. Morne has conceded a run at long last and will bowl at Dravid for the first time today

Over the wicket to Dravid.


Morkel to Dravid, no run, Keeps it back of a length and doesn't extract much sideways movement. Dravid covers the line confidently outside off and defends


Morkel to Dravid, no run, this one's a couple of feet outside off, easy leave for Dravid this time as it again holds its line


Morkel to Dravid, no run, another little lesson in the art of batsmanship from Dravid who stays in the crease, rides the bounce on off stump and drops a short ball harmlessly to the off side

End of over 8 (1 run) India 14/1

    • R Dravid 12 (20b 2x4)
    • G Gambhir 2 (25b)
    • M Morkel 4-3-1-0
    • DW Steyn 4-0-13-1

Steyn over the wicket to Gambhir. I suspect Gambhir won't mind the change in angle, as compared to Morne's round the wicket attack. Three slips and a gully.


Steyn to Gambhir, no run, fullish ball, curves in from a length on and around off stump. Gambhir defends with reasonable confidence


Steyn to Gambhir, no run, that's taken off, get Terminal 3 in Jo'burg airport ready for the landing. On a length at 143 kph and it follows Gambhir's upper body like a guided missile. The man does well to get the bat out of the way and takes it on the back of the shoulder.


Steyn to Gambhir, 2 runs, and the release. Nicely done. Steyn loses the line marginally and slips one on the pads, Gambhir is waiting for these, and clips it square for a couple. Almost four, Morne does well to slide and save the boundary


Steyn to Gambhir, no run, this is top-class bowling. Steyn's been moving them into Gambhir, away from Dravid, most of the time. This time, he lands it on a length on middle and gets it to hold its line. Gambhir almost fell for it as he closed the face and looked to work it to the leg side. That whizzed past the leading edge.


Steyn to Gambhir, no run, short ball, loses the radar a touch and slips it well down the leg side. Easy leave


Steyn to Gambhir, 1 run, Gambhir drops a full ball on middle and off softly to the off side for a single. Bad news is he will retain strike. This is Test cricket at its very best.

End of over 9 (3 runs) India 17/1

    • G Gambhir 5 (31b)
    • R Dravid 12 (20b 2x4)
    • DW Steyn 5-0-16-1
    • M Morkel 4-3-1-0

Good news. Gambhir has survived Morne's first spell. Bowling change - Tsotsobe comes on.


Tsotsobe to Gambhir, no run, short and wide well outside off, Gambhir breathes easy once he knows he can leave it


Tsotsobe to Gambhir, no run, and again, wasted delivery at gentle pace. He is getting some sharp movement, but needs to start it at least two feet closer to the timber.


Tsotsobe to Gambhir, no run, pings one closer to off stump and gets it to dart away from Gambhir. He leaves again, but that made him think more than the previous balls


Tsotsobe to Gambhir, no run, that's the line. That's the angle. Aiming for Gambhir's throat. Though, at 132 kph, Gambhir will face Tsotsobe all day, if that means he does not have to take another ball from Morkel. Fends it away to the leg side


Tsotsobe to Gambhir, no run, similar ball, doesn't quite get the bounce Morkel got, and Gambhir manages to get over the bounce and drop it to the leg side


Tsotsobe to Gambhir, no run, gets one a foot outside off, back of a length again, but not much movement. He lets it go

End of over 10 (maiden) India 17/1

    • G Gambhir 5 (37b)
    • R Dravid 12 (20b 2x4)
    • LL Tsotsobe 1-1-0-0
    • DW Steyn 5-0-16-1

Well, Morkel was just getting a change of ends. He replaces Steyn now. Dravid to face.


Morkel to Dravid, 1 no ball, effort ball, ends up over-stepping and banging it too short. That sails down the leg side harmlessly. Very steep bounce though.


Morkel to Dravid, no run, almost the perfect yorker, 142 kph and gunning for Dravid's toes. He saw it coming though, and jammed down on it, in time to squeeze it to the leg side


Morkel to Dravid, no run, moves to the corridor outside off and Dravid goes back and across and leaves with a flourish


Morkel to Dravid, no run, a subtle change in angle, this holds its line and Dravid just about covers the line and plays it to the leg side


Morkel to Dravid, 1 no ball, fuller length, raps Dravid on the pads at 140kph, but Morne has over stepped again. That might have been sliding over the stumps though


Morkel to Dravid, no run, this one slides well down the leg side and Dravid pulls out of a glance. Goes through to Boucher


Morkel to Dravid, no run, length ball, in the McGrathesque zone of uncertainty and on the length to which batsmen aren't sure which foot to lean on. Dravid leans across and leaves


Morkel to Dravid, 1 leg bye, sprays another one on the pads, Dravid doesn't make very good contact with the flick. Gets a leg bye towards fine leg

Jagdheesh: "Isnt Tsotsobe the name of the fly that causes sleeping sickness?" Err, I think he's confused Lonwabo's name with the tse-tse fly.

End of over 11 (3 runs) India 20/1

    • R Dravid 12 (28b 2x4)
    • G Gambhir 5 (37b)
    • M Morkel 5-3-3-0
    • LL Tsotsobe 1-1-0-0

Tsotsobe continues from over the wicket to Dravid.


Tsotsobe to Dravid, no run, lands on off stump and holds its line. Easy leave for Dravid


Tsotsobe to Dravid, no run, better delivery, fuller and closer to the stumps, but he needs to get it even closer if he wants to needle a poke out of Dravid. This time, he leaves.


Tsotsobe to Dravid, no run, banged in short of a length at 128 kph, spongy bounce as it heads towards Boucher. Harmless bowling this, it did not move an inch. Is Tsotsobe setting Dravid up for an in ducker?


Tsotsobe to Dravid, no run, holds the line again, and this time makes Dravid play by landing it on off and middle. Dravid opens the face and guides it off the back foot towards the off side


Tsotsobe to Dravid, no run, here comes Tsotsobe's variation. Comes in from wide of the crease, lands on a length on leg stump and straightens. Dravid spots the deviation and works it watchfully to the leg side


Tsotsobe to Dravid, no run, and finishes off with his stock ball, the one that angles across and searches for the waft. Dravid gets back and across and opens the face to guide it towards point.

Harish: "The first 10 overs were like a barrage of cannon balls on the Indians with just a bullet-proof vest for protection or rather nothing for protection! Phew!"

End of over 12 (maiden) India 20/1

    • R Dravid 12 (34b 2x4)
    • G Gambhir 5 (37b)
    • LL Tsotsobe 2-2-0-0
    • M Morkel 5-3-3-0

Morne v Gambhir resumes. From round the wicket.


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, Comes in with the angle from wide of the crease, lands outside off and holds its line. Gambhir decides to let it go


Morkel to Gambhir, 4 leg byes, slides down the leg side and Gambhir gets inside the line, looking for a fine glance. Gets some pad on it and it races through between keeper and leg slip for four


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, more assured from Gambhir, moves forward confidently and shows the full face to defend to the off side

Three slips, gully, leg slip and short leg. There are vultures everywhere.


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, didn't take long for Morne to attempt another short ball. Gambhir hops back in the crease and tries to get on top of the bounce. Just manages to get over it and splice it down safely


Morkel to Gambhir, no run, short ball outside off and he shoulders arms this time


Morkel to Gambhir, OUT, Morne has consumed Gambhir after working him over with an attacking spell. I daresay, he deserved this scalp. As is often the case with the bouncer-barrage, the wicket eventually comes to the sucker ball that is landed full. This one was on off stump, Gambhir was years late in coming forward. The body position for the drive was awry, the body momentum was going nowhere. The outside edge went straight into the lap of first slip.

G Gambhir c Harris b Morkel 5 (62m 43b 0x4 0x6) SR: 11.62

Tendulkar walks out for his first Test in Centurion. A standing ovation for the man.

End of over 13 (4 runs, wicket maiden) India 24/2

    • R Dravid 12 (34b 2x4)
    • M Morkel 6-4-3-1
    • LL Tsotsobe 2-2-0-0

Tsotsobe to Dravid, no run, Tsotsobe attacks Dravid's pads with a full ball on middle and leg, Dravid seems like he is falling across, but arrests the movement across to play it towards square leg


Tsotsobe to Dravid, no run, this one is wider down the leg side and Dravid looks to work it to mid on for a single. Can't get runs for his effort


Tsotsobe to Dravid, no run, Tsotsobe gets steepling bounce from back of a length and Dravid sees it as it sails wide of off stump like a blimp.


Tsotsobe to Dravid, 2 runs, Dravid gets another feeler angling across and looking for the edge. Dravid, however, refuses to edge it. He gets back and across once again, gets close to the line and opens the face to ride it through behind square on the off side for a couple


Tsotsobe to Dravid, no run, another one angled across, but much fuller and draws Dravid forward. He defends compactly to the off side


Tsotsobe to Dravid, no run, holds it back a touch and gets it to hold the line. Dravid reaches across, but chooses to shoulder arms

End of over 14 (2 runs) India 26/2

    • R Dravid 14 (40b 2x4)
    • SR Tendulkar 0 (0b)
    • LL Tsotsobe 3-2-2-0
    • M Morkel 6-4-3-1

SRT gets ready to face his first ball in a Centurion Test. Morne, with figures of 6-4-3-1 has the ball.


Morkel to Tendulkar, no run, hits a lovely length immediately, outside off and gets it to jag into Sachin. There's some threatening bounce as well, but Sachin's chosen to leave it


Morkel to Tendulkar, 1 run, goes for the fuller delivery, tries to catch Sachin by surprise with one aimed at the toes, at 140 kph, but Sachin covers the line and drops it to the leg side for a single. He is away.


Morkel to Dravid, no run, Dravid gets across and covers the line as Morne again pings the off stump corridor. Defended to the off side


Morkel to Dravid, OUT, Morne has struck a huge blow. Dravid has fallen to his first error of the day, and by the looks of it, he wasn't very lucky with the bounce. Sharp inwards movement from Morne, lands on and around off stump and curls into Dravid who is caught on the stumps and struck in front of middle and leg as it stays lower than he expected. That looked plumb, but it was just shaving the top of middle. Morne goes down in celebration. He knows he's got the big fish.

R Dravid lbw b Morkel 14 (61m 42b 2x4 0x6) SR: 33.33

South Africa have consumed the top three. India are in serious trouble here on a wicket with more spice than they'd have played on all year. That was Morne's 100th Test wicket.

Crisis it is, and the man who walks out is designed for these situations. VVS comes out to join Sachin.


Morkel to Laxman, no run, length ball on off stump, Laxman languidly gets across and defends to the off side


Morkel to Laxman, no run, sharp bounce from back of a length at 138 kph. It was a case of the ball hitting the bat as Laxman hung in the crease and looked to cover the bounce. Plays it down to the ground on the off side

End of over 15 (1 run) India 27/3

    • VVS Laxman 0 (2b)
    • SR Tendulkar 1 (2b)
    • M Morkel 7-4-4-2
    • LL Tsotsobe 3-2-2-0

Tsotsobe to Tendulkar, no run, Tsotsobe slips in a very full one on middle from over the stumps, Sachin covers the line and plays it down the track


Tsotsobe to Tendulkar, no run, clocked at 122 kph, but it took off appreciably after landing back of a length outside off. Sachin let it go


Tsotsobe to Tendulkar, FOUR, hello, hello, where did that come from? Sachin takes the attack to Tsotsobe, spotting a slightly fuller ball that's going harmlessly outside off, until Sachin, ready on the backfoot, swat pulls it all the way across through midwicket


Tsotsobe to Tendulkar, no run, and now the yorker, his lengths are all over the place. Sachin comes down on it gingerly on off stump and defends


Tsotsobe to Tendulkar, FOUR, shot of the afternoon, though that wasn't a very special ball. Over-pitched on off stump at a friendly pace and Sachin presses forward and creams it through thre covers. It races across a turf that was quite wet sometime back. Time to laud a commendable job from the groundmen


Tsotsobe to Tendulkar, no run, good delivery to finish off. This one holds its line, and the angle makes it a little uncomfortable for Sachin, but ht manages to stay inside the line and let it go

End of over 16 (8 runs) India 35/3

    • SR Tendulkar 9 (8b 2x4)
    • VVS Laxman 0 (2b)
    • LL Tsotsobe 4-2-10-0
    • M Morkel 7-4-4-2

Steyn is back into the attack.


Steyn to Laxman, no run, full delivery immediately and searching for the away movement. Laxman plays late, which is not a bad idea on this wicket. Opens the face and defends to the off side


Steyn to Laxman, no run, in line with the stumps, gets that shape again from off stump line and Laxman is on the crease as it whistles in at 142 kph. Defends it to the off side, at the very last moment.


Steyn to Laxman, 1 wide, bouncer, called wide for height. Hmm, that seemed a tight call. Laxman ducked under it, and it did not go all that high.


Steyn to Laxman, no run, back of a length, a touch outside off and shaping away again. Laxman stays put on the back foot and defends to the off side


Steyn to Laxman, no run, fuller ball, looking for the indiscretion, but Laxman is resolute in defence, staying in the crease and patting it down the ground


Steyn to Laxman, no run, full at 139 kph, but a good two feet outside off. One of the easier leaves we have seen today.


Steyn to Laxman, no run, attacks the furniture again, lands back of a length on middle and leg and darts away off the seam. Laxman stays back and has all bases covered as he defends it to the leg side

Salim: "This spell and figures from Morne are Curtly Ambrosesque! Great Maan!"

End of over 17 (1 run) India 36/3

    • VVS Laxman 0 (8b)
    • SR Tendulkar 9 (8b 2x4)
    • DW Steyn 6-0-17-1
    • LL Tsotsobe 4-2-10-0

Tsotsobe to Tendulkar, no run, this pitch is an absolute menace for batsmen. Tsotsobe seemed to drop that harmlessly at 127 kph on a length outside off, but that reared up like an absolute fiend. Sachin did well not to nick it on the way


Tsotsobe to Tendulkar, FOUR, Sachin takes him on again, and its four more through midwicket. Short ball, not at the pace that will trouble a quality batsman, Sachin gauges the lift early, rocks back and smashes the pull through the gap between midwicket and mid-on


Tsotsobe to Tendulkar, FOUR, and nicely done again. Tsotso angles another one across Sachin, who doesn't manage to cover the line, so waits for it to come beside him before guiding with with an open face through the cordon and to the third man boundary


Tsotsobe to Tendulkar, no run, another bouncer, Sachin decided to duck very early and was safely under it


Tsotsobe to Tendulkar, 1 run, this one ends on Sachin's hips and he tucks it behind square neatly for a single


Tsotsobe to Laxman, no run, short of good length on leg stump and holding its line. Laxman stays back and defends it cautiously towards mid off

End of over 18 (9 runs) India 45/3

    • VVS Laxman 0 (9b)
    • SR Tendulkar 18 (13b 4x4)
    • LL Tsotsobe 5-2-19-0
    • DW Steyn 6-0-17-1

Another legend gets into the action. Kallis has the ball, for what must be the last over before tea. Three slips.


Kallis to Tendulkar, no run, comes in from slightly wide of the crease and straightens from off stump line. Sachin spots the deviation, covers the line well and defends with a full face back to the bowler


Kallis to Tendulkar, no run, Kallis gets that away movement going, from half a foot outside off. Enough width for Sachin to choose to leave


Kallis to Tendulkar, no run, attacks the stumps this time, Sachin gets behind the line and drops it softly to the on side


Kallis to Tendulkar, no run, bouncer attempted at 137 kph, but he's completely lost the line and pushed it well down the leg side


Kallis to Tendulkar, no run, back of a length on off stump, Sachin gets across to the cover the angle and blocks down the ground


Kallis to Tendulkar, FOUR, what timing! Sachin has clipped a delivery that was no where near being over-pitched, with a quick turn of the wrists, generating unbelievable bat speed to send it purring towards the square leg fence. Even Sachin didn't expect to time that so well. His initial call was for two!

End of over 19 (4 runs) India 49/3

    • SR Tendulkar 22 (19b 5x4)
    • VVS Laxman 0 (9b)
    • JH Kallis 1-0-4-0
    • LL Tsotsobe 5-2-19-0

Harris comes on. One more over before tea. Two slips.


Harris to Laxman, no run, draws Lax into the inside out drive with a feeler tossed up on middle from round the wicket. Driven uppishly, straight to cover


Harris to Laxman, 2 runs, Laxman is off the mark with his trademark flick to a short ball that ended on leg stump line.


Harris to Laxman, FOUR, timing all the way. Harris over-pitches on off stump, Laxman doesn't bother with footwork. Stays in the crease, beside the line and drives it with the spin through covers. Tsotsobe escorts it through to the boundary


Harris to Laxman, no run, holds it back and attacks the stumps, Laxman looks to work it against the spin, but doesn't make contact


Harris to Laxman, no run, pushed across on off stump line, Laxman leans out to defend to the off side


Harris to Laxman, no run, and a similar ball to end a frenetic opening session to this series. Laxman presses forward and smothers it

Abhishek Purohit will take you through the action from the final session. Meanwhile here is George Binoy's bulletin.

4.40 pm Steyn took out the big one. Morkel then began his handiwork. There were bouncers flying in every direction. Only Dravid seemed equipped to handle them, but he too perished to a fuller ball. The change-up bowlers haven't been in the same league as the main guys, and Tendulkar took the opportunity to counterpunch with five sublime boundaries. Laxman is still there. Early days yet, but seeing the wicket, 250 could be a very competitive score. Join us at 5.00pm local time for the final session of the day.

Johan is peeved. "Why on earth do they have tea. They had the whole mornig to drink tea. Now they want to play another 30 overs after 5?," he asks.

Prateek chimes in with a point Sriram Veera seems to be making as well here in Cricinfo towers. "Time for Sachin and VVS to emulate that most entertaining of partnerships between Sachin and Azhar on the 1996 tour."

End of over 20 (6 runs) India 55/3

    • VVS Laxman 6 (15b 1x4)
    • SR Tendulkar 22 (19b 5x4)
    • PL Harris 1-0-6-0
    • JH Kallis 1-0-4-0

Ashish: "It was an entertaining partnership in 96. I remember Sachin was the last man to go in that innings. And it was a great catch near the rope." Steyn will resume the attack after tea

Thanks Nitin. It will be an understatement to say that India are up and against it. Some terrific bowling from Steyn and Morkel. They had a plan for each of the batsmen dismissed. The players are back for the final session.


Steyn to Tendulkar, no run, right on target, bit of away movement after pitching on a length around off, Sachin gets behind the line and defends


Steyn to Tendulkar, no run, squared him up, it was angled in on the leg stump, and straightened it even as SRT looked to turn it through midwicket, got a leading edge towards cover


Steyn to Tendulkar, FOUR, almost got his man, Sachin had a poke at one just around off stump, it came back in just a shade, and the inside edge flew past a diving Boucher


Steyn to Tendulkar, no run, the bouncer on the stumps now, SRT drops his wrists and sways out of the line without fuss


Steyn to Tendulkar, no run, fuller from Steyn, Sachin gets forward and drives it to mid off, got right to the pitch of the delivery


Steyn to Tendulkar, FOUR, more overpitched stuff from Steyn, a shade wider outside off stump, and Sachin sends it on its way through extra cover for a boundary, top shot

End of over 21 (8 runs) India 63/3

    • SR Tendulkar 30 (25b 7x4)
    • VVS Laxman 6 (15b 1x4)
    • DW Steyn 7-0-25-1
    • PL Harris 1-0-6-0

Sachin Gupta: "Adam Bacher took the catch and Sachin was out on 169, which was his then highest score and I swear I didn't check the archives." How would I know? Okay, I'll take your word for it. Kallis comes on


Kallis to Laxman, no run, bang on the stumps is Jacques, getting it to hold the line on off stump, VVS stays back and pats it back down the track


Kallis to Laxman, no run, short and climbing, but outside off stump, and VVS can let it sail by harmlessly, that got really big


Kallis to Laxman, 1 run, gets on top of this short of a good length delivery and punches it into the gap at covers for a single


Kallis to Tendulkar, no run, comes in with the angle and tails away from outside off stump, he leaves it alone


Kallis to Tendulkar, 2 runs, walks across and works this back of a length delivery towards deep square leg for a couple, got it right in the gap


Kallis to Tendulkar, no run, watches this length ball all the way into the gloves of Boucher, it was in the corridor outside off

End of over 22 (3 runs) India 66/3

    • SR Tendulkar 32 (28b 7x4)
    • VVS Laxman 7 (18b 1x4)
    • JH Kallis 2-0-7-0
    • DW Steyn 7-0-25-1

Gary: "got to trust Sachin Gupta..his name is Sachin too." Now come on


Steyn to Laxman, no run, bouncing from a length outside off stump, he shoulders arms


Steyn to Laxman, OUT, got 'em! Steyn has gone right through Laxman, and the middle stump is knocked out of the ground, VVS played way across the line, looking to work it through midwicket, it was straight as an arrow, beat the wristy waft, and crashed into the timber, Steyn is on fire, so are South Africa

VVS Laxman b Steyn 7 (36m 20b 1x4 0x6) SR: 35.00

Suresh Raina walks in. This will be the true test for the young man


Steyn to Raina, no run, and goes fishing at a delivery that was angled across him, the feet were rooted to the crease, and the ball rushed past the tentative prod

forward short leg and leg slip in place


Steyn to Raina, 1 run, and almost goes to the man at leg slip, it was short and dug into the body, Raina got inside the line and fended at it, and it went just over that man down to fine leg


Steyn to Tendulkar, no run, SRT gets right behind the line of a pacy delivery on the stumps, and defends with the full face of the bat


Steyn to Tendulkar, no run, the second time SRT gets a leading edge, he was eyeing the midwicket region, the ball squirted off the edge towards mid off

End of over 23 (1 run) India 67/4

    • SR Tendulkar 32 (30b 7x4)
    • SK Raina 1 (2b)
    • DW Steyn 8-0-26-2
    • JH Kallis 2-0-7-0

Kallis to Raina, OUT, and Raina falls third ball! not the short ball, but the length delivery going across him does the trick, he stood in the crease and guided it straight into the hands of third slip, India are in complete disarray, Kallis gets one now

SK Raina c Prince b Kallis 1 (5m 3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 33.33

MS Dhoni is the new man


Kallis to Dhoni, no run, walks across and plays it out into the off side


Kallis to Dhoni, no run, leaves this rising delivery outside off stump alone, well of course, if ever there was a time for the captain to score some runs, it is now


Kallis to Dhoni, no run, short of a good length outside off stump, he pushes it to cover off the back foot


Kallis to Dhoni, no run, bowls it on the stumps, MSD arrests his initial across movement, and pushes it down towards mid on


Kallis to Dhoni, no run, walks across and awkwardly keeps this back of a length delivery down near the crease, forward short leg is lurking close by

End of over 24 (wicket maiden) India 67/5

    • MS Dhoni 0 (5b)
    • SR Tendulkar 32 (30b 7x4)
    • JH Kallis 3-1-7-1
    • DW Steyn 8-0-26-2

Steyn to Tendulkar, FOUR, SRT is batting on another surface at the moment, went back and cut this widish delivery backward of point for a boundary


Steyn to Tendulkar, no run, better length, pitches outside off stump, and moves further away, he comes forward and shoulders arms


Steyn to Tendulkar, no run, more away shape after pitching outside off stump, Sachin has nothing to do with it, takes a step out and leaves it alone

Steyn has some issues with the landing area, seems to be some lose earth there, groundsman comes with a hammer to sort it out


Steyn to Tendulkar, OUT, and India's last specialist batsman goes! Steyn it is who gets the big one, raps SRT on the pads with a length delivery that straightens a bit, and catches him on the pads even as he plays across the line, that was hitting middle and the finger goes up straightaway, India are 29 short of the 100-run mark

SR Tendulkar lbw b Steyn 36 (61m 34b 8x4 0x6) SR: 105.88

Harbhajan Singh, with two centuries in his last three Tests, comes in


Steyn to Harbhajan Singh, no run, he was walking away from the line of the length delivery even as it darted into him, struck high on the pads, but way down the leg side


Steyn to Harbhajan Singh, FOUR, goes outside leg again, and guides this one into the gap between point and gully to get off the mark with a boundary

End of over 25 (8 runs) India 75/6

    • Harbhajan Singh 4 (2b 1x4)
    • MS Dhoni 0 (5b)
    • DW Steyn 9-0-34-3
    • JH Kallis 3-1-7-1

Kallis to Dhoni, 1 run, MSD walks down the track and has a heave-ho, the inside edge races down behind square, no clue what he was looking to do there


Kallis to Harbhajan Singh, no run, watches this delivery as it moves away from outside off stump, and leaves it alone in the end


Kallis to Harbhajan Singh, no run, Kallis gives him the bouncer, Harbhajan has no clue what to do with it, is pinned on the crease and just about manages to avoid it as it flies through to Boucher


Kallis to Harbhajan Singh, no run, gives him the sucker ball, fullish around off stump, he gets an inside edge as he defends


Kallis to Harbhajan Singh, FOUR, swats this delivery going down the leg side on one knee, to the left of fine leg for his second boundary


Kallis to Harbhajan Singh, no run, moves away from back of a length, and he goes back to push it out to cover

End of over 26 (5 runs) India 80/6

    • Harbhajan Singh 8 (7b 2x4)
    • MS Dhoni 1 (6b)
    • JH Kallis 4-1-12-1
    • DW Steyn 9-0-34-3

Steyn to Dhoni, no run, 148.4 kmph from Steyn, shapes away from outside off stump, Dhoni shoulders arms


Steyn to Dhoni, no run, better length, closer to the stumps, and a touch shorter too, Dhoni goes on the back foot to defend


Steyn to Dhoni, no run, goes for the pull to a 145.8 kmph shortish delivery outside off stump, and gets it off the bottom half of the bat straight back to Steyn, pulled back to the bowler, if you please


Steyn to Dhoni, no run, decides to duck underneath as Steyn gives him a bouncer on the stumps


Steyn to Dhoni, no run, getting the entire range from Steyn is Dhoni, and not knowing how to deal with the variety, this one was fuller and moved away off the seam, Dhoni went for a weak drive and was beaten comprehensively


Steyn to Dhoni, no run, lets this one outside off stump go through to Boucher

End of over 27 (maiden) India 80/6

    • MS Dhoni 1 (12b)
    • Harbhajan Singh 8 (7b 2x4)
    • DW Steyn 10-1-34-3
    • JH Kallis 4-1-12-1

Kallis to Harbhajan Singh, no run, takes a step forward and shoulders arms to a delivery that gently sails past wide outside off stump


Kallis to Harbhajan Singh, no run, gets his front leg to the pitch of a fuller ball and drives it to short extra cover


Kallis to Harbhajan Singh, no run, Kallis goes back of a length and it climbs into Harbhajan who hops on the back foot and plays it down towards short extra cover


Kallis to Harbhajan Singh, 2 runs, leans into the push, and with his timing, the ball goes into the gap at covers for a couple


Kallis to Harbhajan Singh, 1 wide, wayward short delivery down the leg side, Boucher goes for the full stretch leap takes the ball, even as he tumbles down


Kallis to Harbhajan Singh, FOUR, just pushes at a full delivery on middle and leg, and the ball fairly races past mid-on for another boundary


Kallis to Harbhajan Singh, no run, leaves it alone outside off

End of over 28 (7 runs) India 87/6

    • Harbhajan Singh 14 (13b 3x4)
    • MS Dhoni 1 (12b)
    • JH Kallis 5-1-19-1
    • DW Steyn 10-1-34-3

Morkel is back with forward short leg in place


Morkel to Dhoni, no run, goes back to defend a short of a good length delivery down the track


Morkel to Dhoni, 1 leg bye, going down leg side, Dhoni goes across and outside the line, and looks to shoulder arms, but the ball catches him on the pads and rolls away towards square leg


Morkel to Harbhajan Singh, no run, short and climbing around off stump, Harbhajan tries to play at it, but it is too good for him, and goes past the outside edge


Morkel to Harbhajan Singh, no run, short again outside off, he looked to leave it initially, but played it down towards gully in the end


Morkel to Harbhajan Singh, 1 run, goes outside leg and plays this length delivery in front of Amla at forward short leg, they set off for the single, and Amla runs parallely to Harbhajan, picks up the ball, and throws it at the non-striker's, if that had hit, Harbhajan was struggling


Morkel to Dhoni, no run, more short stuff from Morne, he goes back and plays it out into the off side

End of over 29 (2 runs) India 89/6

    • MS Dhoni 1 (15b)
    • Harbhajan Singh 15 (16b 3x4)
    • M Morkel 8-4-5-2
    • JH Kallis 5-1-19-1

Tsotsobe comes on now

Tushar: "It is diabolical how many times Sachin gets out first ball after an unscheduled break in play.. The damn landing spot on the pitch is responsible for his wicket.." Too bad the ball had to land somewhere

Raja can see something positive in India's struggles: "This is the India we were used to growing up in the nineties. Lets revel in nostalgia." As if there is any other option


Tsotsobe to Harbhajan Singh, no run, looks to slap this delivery angled across him through point, and is beaten


Tsotsobe to Harbhajan Singh, no run, short of a good length into the body, plays it out to cover with an angled bat


Tsotsobe to Harbhajan Singh, 1 run, goes deep in the crease, and works this shortish one away through square leg


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, no run, sprays it wide outside off with the angle from over the stumps, Dhoni isn't reaching out for it


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, no run, better from Lonwabo, fuller and on middle and leg, Dhoni drives it wristily to mid on in that whiplash style of his


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, no run, defended down the track off the back foot

End of over 30 (1 run) India 90/6

    • MS Dhoni 1 (18b)
    • Harbhajan Singh 16 (19b 3x4)
    • LL Tsotsobe 6-2-20-0
    • M Morkel 8-4-5-2

Morkel to Harbhajan Singh, 1 run, fends the short delivery on leg stump even as one hand comes off the bat handle, and the ball goes backward of square


Morkel to Dhoni, no run, goes for the big upper cut, but the ball bounces much higher that he anticipated, was almost in the air as he went for it, and the ball thudded into Boucher's gloves


Morkel to Dhoni, no run, driven down the ground, but without much power and mid off comes across and fields


Morkel to Dhoni, no run, is hit high on the thigh pad as he moves outside the line to a shortish one on leg stump, and shoulders arms


Morkel to Dhoni, 2 runs, goes for the pull, and awkwardly hits it in the air in front of square leg, the ball hurried on to him, and bounced chest high too


Morkel to Dhoni, 1 run, shuffles across and works it away to midwicket, Amla runs from forward short leg to field

End of over 31 (4 runs) India 94/6

    • MS Dhoni 4 (23b)
    • Harbhajan Singh 17 (20b 3x4)
    • M Morkel 9-4-9-2
    • LL Tsotsobe 6-2-20-0

Tsotsobe to Dhoni, 1 run, goes a foot across off stump to work this short delivery behind square, got into a tangle as his right shoe came off, he stuttered, but recovered to take the single on one shoe


Tsotsobe to Harbhajan Singh, FOUR, brings down an angled bat on this rising delivery around off stump, and got an edge that just eluded a diving Prince at gully


Tsotsobe to Harbhajan Singh, SIX, Tsotsobe goes fuller, Harbhajan stays in the crease and lifts it over long on for a six, "no half measures", says Ravi Shastri on air, he gave it the full swing


Tsotsobe to Harbhajan Singh, no run, ducks underneath bouncer now, but the bat was hanging straight and high in the air


Tsotsobe to Harbhajan Singh, no run, plays it back to Tosotsobe who lets him know what he thinks about his batting, Harbhajan smiles


Tsotsobe to Harbhajan Singh, no run, another bouncer, but down the leg side, no issues for Harbhajan as it sails past him harmlessly

End of over 32 (11 runs) India 105/6

    • Harbhajan Singh 27 (25b 4x4 1x6)
    • MS Dhoni 5 (24b)
    • LL Tsotsobe 7-2-31-0
    • M Morkel 9-4-9-2

Morkel to Dhoni, 2 runs, gets forward and looks to cream it down the ground, through mid off, but gets an inside edge that goes towards a non-existent mid on, it is mid off who has to run and do the fielding


Morkel to Dhoni, (no ball) 2 runs, OUT, what do we have here? Harbhajan was slow to turn for the second as Dhoni pushed through cover, he had almost made it, but the bat came out of his hand, and Boucher underarmed the throw onto the stumps, replays show Harbhajan, minus his bat was just short of the crease, and India have added suicide to their mode of dismissal in Centurion

Harbhajan Singh run out 27 (40m 25b 4x4 1x6) SR: 108.00

Ishant Sharma is the new batsman


Morkel to Sharma, no run, goes back and plays out this delivery that straightens on off stump towards point


Morkel to Sharma, OUT, another one goes! Morkle gets the outside edge as Ishant hops to a short of a good length delivery that gets big on him, it flies to that man Kallis at second slip who juggles it for an instant, before holding it cleanly close to his chest

I Sharma c Kallis b Morkel 0 (2m 2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Sreesanth comes out to have a bat. How long will he last? Thee slips, gully, forward short leg, leg slip in place


Morkel to Sreesanth, no run, gives him the bouncer first up, Sree goes underneath it


Morkel to Sreesanth, no run, wide outside off stump, he throws his bat at it, was about half a foot away from the line of the delivery


Morkel to Sreesanth, no run, better this time from Sree, lets this one go as it shapes away outside off stump

End of over 33 (5 runs) India 110/8

    • S Sreesanth 0 (3b)
    • MS Dhoni 9 (26b)
    • M Morkel 10-4-14-3
    • LL Tsotsobe 7-2-31-0

The lights are coming on now, just a bit


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, no run, angled across MSD, who takes a step forward, and leaves it alone


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, no run, gentle 125.8 kmph stuff from Tsotsobe outside off stump, Dhoni leaves again


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, no run, goes across to one on the pads, flicks it to fine leg, and then refuses the single


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, SIX, Dhoni does a Harbhajan, lifts Tsotsobe cleanly over long on for a six, it was in the slot around off stump, and MSD went for the shot, got it off the middle of the bat


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, no run, played out to cover off the back foot


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, no run, short and rising above Dhoni, who looks to hit it over the slips, but it was too high for him

End of over 34 (6 runs) India 116/8

    • MS Dhoni 15 (32b 1x6)
    • S Sreesanth 0 (3b)
    • LL Tsotsobe 8-2-37-0
    • M Morkel 10-4-14-3

Ambika: "Why did the rain cease?"


Morkel to Sreesanth, no run, withdraws his bat out of the line of this length delivery in the channel outside off stump, a bit awkwardly


Morkel to Sreesanth, no run, looks to guide this delivery through gully, but it moves away sharply off the seam to beat him


Morkel to Sreesanth, no run, gets behind the line of this length ball and defends off the front foot


Morkel to Sreesanth, no run, too good for Sreesanth, it was angled in from short of a good length, he pushed at it inside the line, and it went past the outside edge


Morkel to Sreesanth, OUT, stays in the crease and drives crisply in the air, but straight to short extra cover, who was the only man in front of the stumps, apart from the bowler, and he gleefully accepts the early Christmas gift, India are nine down

S Sreesanth c Steyn b Morkel 0 (12m 8b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Jaidev Unadkat on Test debut comes in, he is looking really surprised to be out there


Morkel to Unadkat, no run, Unadkat survives, full delivery on off stump, he manages to get behind it and defend

End of over 35 (wicket maiden) India 116/9

    • JD Unadkat 0 (1b)
    • MS Dhoni 15 (32b 1x6)
    • M Morkel 11-5-14-4
    • LL Tsotsobe 8-2-37-0

Tsotsobe to Dhoni, 1 wide, looks to pull this short delivery down the leg side, but it bounces high over him, and MSD withdraws from the shot


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, no run, fuller and angled across the batsman, Dhoni drives it back to Tsotsobe from the crease


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, no run, makes room and cuts it away to Amla on the sweeper boundary, does not take the single


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, SIX, Tsotsobe drags it short, and at his pace, Dhoni is able to rock back and pull it in the air over deep square leg for six


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, no run, stays on the back foot and punches it to Amla on the sweeper boundary, the field comes in now to prevent the single


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, 2 runs, poor bowling, on the pads, flicked in front of fine leg for a couple


Tsotsobe to Dhoni, FOUR, now he serves it short and wide outside off, Dhoni latches on to it and cuts it over gully for a boundary, but Unadkat will be on strike next over

End of over 36 (13 runs) India 129/9

    • MS Dhoni 27 (38b 1x4 2x6)
    • JD Unadkat 0 (1b)
    • LL Tsotsobe 9-2-50-0
    • M Morkel 11-5-14-4

Morkel to Unadkat, no run, gives him the rising delivery, he stands tall to bring it down, Dhoni wants the single, then doesn't want it, Unadkat obliges both times, and rushes back just in time


Morkel to Unadkat, 1 run, now they get the single, his first in Test cricket, tapped in front of cover and off they go


Morkel to Dhoni, FOUR, short ball outside off stump, Dhoni goes for the pull on one leg and gets it to the left of Amla on the deep square leg boundary for a boundary


Morkel to Dhoni, 1 run, shows some confidence in Unadkat, takes the single with a push towards midwicket


Morkel to Unadkat, no run, goes back and keeps the straight ball down well in front of forward short leg


Morkel to Unadkat, no run, Unadkat survives again, rides the bounce on this back of a length ball and plays it down in front of the man at short cover, well played

End of over 37 (6 runs) India 135/9

    • JD Unadkat 1 (5b)
    • MS Dhoni 32 (40b 2x4 2x6)
    • M Morkel 12-5-20-4
    • LL Tsotsobe 9-2-50-0

Umpires are having a chat about the light, and think it is good enough to continue. Kallis comes on now


Kallis to Dhoni, no run, played away in to the off side, there is no one close by and it rolls away to sweeper cover


Kallis to Dhoni, no run, played back to the bowler off the back foot


Kallis to Dhoni, no run, goes back and forces this one away towards sweeper cover, no single taken


Kallis to Dhoni, no run, gives him the short one, Dhoni goes for the pull, it comes off the bottom half of the bat, and limply rolls away in the air towards mid on


Kallis to Dhoni, no run, plays it away down towards mid on again, whip-pushes it in fact, in Dhoni fashion


Kallis to Dhoni, 1 run, gets the single off the last ball, walking across the stumps and working the ball square

End of over 38 (1 run) India 136/9

    • MS Dhoni 33 (46b 2x4 2x6)
    • JD Unadkat 1 (5b)
    • JH Kallis 6-1-20-1
    • M Morkel 12-5-20-4

two slips and a gully for Morne Morkel, spread out field for Dhoni, wonder why


Morkel to Dhoni, no run, straight and two feet outside off stump, Dhoni leaves it alone


We will have an early start tomorrow at 10 am local time. Do join us then. For now, this is Abhishek Purohit signing off on what has been a curtailed but fascinating day of Test cricket, along with my colleagues Nitin Sundar, and Venkat Raghav. Thanks for all the feedback. Cheers!

And that will be it on the first day of this much-anticipated series. It was Steyn and Morkel against the Indian batting line-up, and the duo have won the first round, taking seven wickets between them. India have limped to 136 for 9. 50 of those runs have come off Lonwabo Tsotsobe, and the ineffectiveness of the third seamer has been the only worry for South Africa on what has otherwise been a perfect day for them. MS Dhoni has gritted it out in the middle, but 150-175 does not look to be par for this surface, which has nothing alarming about it. But you never know.

Ramdas: "Lets pray for rain tomorrow." It rained even today, twice in fact, First it was the water, and then came the wickets

Bad light stopped play Umpires think the light's deteriorated enough for the batsmen to go off the field.

9.55 am: "To be frank, India cannot blame the pitch for yesterday's collapses. To be No. 1 you have to be able to adapt to all kinds of surfaces. 80% of the wickets that fell were not due to the pitch playing games; it was due to a world class attack, Fact." A point well made David.

Right, time for some cricket. Morkel has five balls carried over from last evening. Dhoni to face under a clear blue sky. Two slips in place ...

9.50 am: Ten minutes to go. Here's an email from Don: "It's bright and sunny today. If SA can take the last wicket quickly and survive till lunch losing only one wicket then it will be a very long day for India in the sun."

Before that though, Dhoni will attempt to keep South Africa bowling as long as he can. He has a No. 11 for company so he will have to do some farming.

"Can you tell me the email id on which I should send mails or rather comments while your commentary is going on?" asks Prateek. The one on which you sent that one is just fine.

9.35 am: "India should just take confidence from Aussies. They were over and out of series few hours back and now things have changed. Key thing - don't drop a catch. Indians are guilty of dropping many in the away matches in the past," says Akkamall.

In case you haven't been following, Johnson turned up at the WACA and blasted England out for 187. India will have to play exceptionally to recover from 136 for 9. But stranger things have happened in cricket.

9.25 am: Good morning, there's an early start in Centurion today. Play begins at 10.00 am to make up for time lost to bad weather on the opening day. And there's no sight of rain. Lot's of sunshine, terrific weather.

Steyn and Morkel were awesome last evening, tearing through the Indian line-up. They softened the batsmen with the short stuff and then ripped them out with fuller balls. The classic one-two combo. There's one Indian wicket left to take ... and then South Africa's batsmen will have to cope with a talented but unpredictable Indian seam attack.

Sreesanth and Ishant can be deadly when they're in form, they can also be awful. The debutant Jaidev Unadkat is an unknown quantity. They key for India's fast bowlers will be to not get carried away by the bounce. Morkel and Steyn did not wear out the middle of the pitch, they bounced the ball from short of a length. Shaun Pollock reckons the new ball will misbehave. It's George Binoy at the keyboard for the first session.


Morkel to Dhoni, no run, short of a length, pitching outside off and angling into the right-hander. Dhoni moves back and across, gets behind the line, and blocks


Morkel to Dhoni, no run, short of a length again but the line is wider outside off stump, the ball rises and beats Dhoni's attempted cut


Morkel to Dhoni, OUT, hit on the pad and Dhoni's lbw! Morkel picks up his fifth. The ball was fuller again and angled into the right-hander. Dhoni might have wanted to come forward to that but he didn't and was caught on the crease. Umpire Ian Gould made a quick decision but Dhoni was almost ready to walk before the finger went up

MS Dhoni lbw b Morkel 33 (87m 50b 2x4 2x6) SR: 66.00

10.03 am: Three balls it took for Morkel to end the Indian innings. Dhoni couldn't add to the overnight score of 136. Morkel ends with figures of 5for 20. Smith and Petersen will be out in ten minutes for South Africa's innings.

"India having been bowled out this early in the morning could actually be a blessing in disguise. This is the time the ball will move a lot and here's hoping that the Indian quicks can skittle out the SA top order!" That bit of optimism was from Karthik.

Smith's asked for the heavy roller to flatten the pitch. Shaun Pollock had said earlier that the new ball will do a bit for about 20 overs, and after that batting could get easier.

  • Overs 0-50





  • RHB


  • RHB



Hours of play (local time) 10.00am start, Lunch 12.30-13.10, Tea 15.10-15.30, Close 18.00

Match Coverage

Day 5
Day 4
Day 3
Day 2
Day 1