South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban, 4th day December 29, 2013

India fight for survival after South Africa post 500


India 334 and 68 for 2 trail South Africa 500 (Kallis 115, Peterson 61, Jadeja 6-138) by 98 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Manjrekar: Pujara, Kohli key for India

First session: 96 runs at 2.73 runs per over. Second session: 102 at 7.20. Third session: 73 at 1.91. The vastly varying scoring rates that Test cricket allows were on vivid display as the game meandered in the morning, before South Africa stepped on it post-lunch in search of a declaration, after which India's batsmen put up a backs-to-the-wall display in the murky light at Kingsmead.

Despite the fluctuating run-rates, it was a day on which South Africa progressively increased their advantage, first taking a substantial lead and then prising out the Indian openers. India face a fight for survival on the final day of the series.

The morning was all about one man. Jacques Kallis slowly and steadily made his way to an emotional farewell century, his 45th in Test cricket, went past Rahul Dravid to become the third highest run-getter in Tests and gradually pushed India towards an unwinnable position.

The sentiments involved were clearly evident early in the day itself, when nightwatchman Dale Steyn hugged Kallis after a miscommunication over a single. No South African wanted to be remembered as the person responsible for causing Kallis to be dismissed in his final Test, especially not before he reached a century.

In that session, it seemed as if both teams were waiting for the other to make the play. South Africa weren't playing with the intent of setting up a declaration, and India were content sitting back and limiting the runs with an increasingly ragged ball which was used for as long as 146 overs.

The bowling was almost entirely about one man too. Ravindra Jadeja bowled unchanged for half the day in a marathon 25-over spell as he provided the control India were searching for. Jadeja also finally broke the stubborn 86-run partnership between Kallis and Steyn by getting Kallis to top edge a slog sweep and complete his five-for.

As Kallis walked back, there were poignant scenes. The Sunday crowd saluted him with a standing ovation, the South African team greeted him with hugs outside the pavilion, and the captain Graeme Smith kissed him on his head.

There wasn't too much initiative from South Africa even after that dismissal, but a short rain break after lunch shook things up. Robin Peterson and Faf du Plessis came out looking to play the big shots, and in the first three overs they plundered 29 runs - almost as many had been made in 16 overs leading to lunch.

India were clueless against the adventurous batsmen, and the flood of runs continued after the umpires finally forced a ball change midway through the session. Peterson galloped to a half-century off 44 balls, and the highlight of his innings was a stunning switch hit over the right-hander's long-on for six. Du Plessis was marginally slower, playing more orthodox but equally eye-catching strokes - such as a gentle flick over mid-on off Mohammed Shami - and in little time the lead had ballooned past 150.

Peterson perished going for another big hit to end a partnership of 110 off 108 balls, and the rains returned to cut the session short, giving time for Smith to mull over whether it was time to declare. The decision was taken out of his hands when play resumed as Jadeja ran to his right and dived to secure Morne Morkel's leading edge to take six for the match and end the innings.

That left India needing to bat out about two-and-a-half hours on the day. Steyn and Vernon Philander turned in a high-intensity spell with the new ball. Steyn harried the batsmen with the short ball but couldn't get the breakthrough as he delivered 5-4-1-0. Philander had been ineffective in the first innings but had more impact this time as he set up Vijay perfectly - a series of short balls, followed by the fuller one which Vijay nicked through to slip after taking only half a step forward.

Shikhar Dhawan, who has had a mediocre tour so far, survived the initial examination, constantly urging himself to concentrate, and leaving as many deliveries as he could. Cheteshwar Pujara was struck on the armpit with a vicious bouncer early on but slowly he gained a measure of the pitch.

The light wasn't great in the evening, but not so poor that they could come off with a significant chunk of the session still left to play. India would have wanted this on the first day when they were dominant, instead of today but Dhawan and Pujara were showing signs that they could make it through till stumps. That feeling grew as the umpires deemed that only spinners could bowl in the fading light.

Dhawan though went for a big hit off Robin Peterson, only to see du Plessis at short midwicket pull off one of the catches of the year with a one-handed leaping effort. India's best batsmen, Pujara and Virat Kohli, were in the middle at stumps, and how long their partnership lasts could determine the course of the match tomorrow.

Cullinan: SA have played India out of the match

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dinesh on December 30, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    Another disgraceful umpiring decision. Its piling up now against India. Well done ICC. Hopefully BCCI will get the message and start using DRS.

  • Vinod on December 30, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    congratulations to SA on a well deserved victory. i think some indian fans were too cocky after the first day totally ignoring the fact that they were going to be bowled at by three top-ICC-ranked bowlers one more time. it was the brilliance of kohli, pujara and rahane that we had something to celebrate on this tour. just like the 90s when the brilliance of SRT or RSD gave us something to cheer about. apart from these three, the rest of the team failed. more prominent failures were MSD himself (kick him out of the test team while touring), dhawan and as expected nohit sharma. dhawan will stop twirling his moustache forever and nohit sharma will never try to sledge. jadeja should be rapped on his knuckles for throwing his wicket.

  • Harmon on December 30, 2013, 10:55 GMT


    Come on, what are you talking about? How was Dhoni wrong in not taking the new ball? You saying so does not make it wrong. I am talking about consistency in logic. If what Steyn did on Day one was not wrong cos SA got their own tactics then doesn't India have the right of having their own tactics? Tactics may work or fail, but employing tactics is another thing.

    I am sure you still haven't got the point. Let me repeat it. How can you say Dhoni was wrong without seeing what SA did on Day One?

    As for Kallis' slow inning, yours is quite a ridiculous justification. Was Jadeja bowling so well that Kallis had to score at 36 SR? In any case, career SR of Kallis is 45, this is way below the SR of the truly great batsmen such as Sachin & Ponting. It seems Kallis has always been a slow, boring scorer & here he decided to go even slower so that he could get his 100. There is no other justification.

  • Android on December 30, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    one bad overseas series doesnt prove anything...india though close to a series loss showed many positives in this series...on the fast and bouncy pitches of sa against world best attack a largely inexperienced and young side played better than predicted by many...and if it hadnt been for d wrong decision on d first ball today...india wud have never lost dis match...and let sa cum to india...its going to be a worse margin...

  • Dinesh on December 30, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    @SA Fan South Africa are undeserving winners should they win this match. Umpiring has been disgraceful and fully in favour of SA. 4 plumb lbw's not given yesterday against SA and a disgraceful stumping of Peterson not given. If India didn't have to get SA batsmen out twice, they would be right in this game. Maybe the ICC want to force India into using DRS. SA always need the umpires help to win against India. This is not the 1st time they have gotten a raw deal. A few years back, SA were on the ropes when Ashwell Prince came in to bat. He edged a ball that almost went to 1st slip but was given not out. He went on to get a 100 and change the match situation. Disgraceful Proteas. Undeserving!

  • rajesh on December 30, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    india done better than previous tours take possitives my next 11 to NZ 1) dhawan 2) vijay 3) pujara 4) kohli 5) rahane 6) ashwin 7) jadeja 8) dhoni 9) bhuvi 10) shami 11) umesh / varun aron,,,,ojha, rohit, rishidhawan, ishwarpanday, aparijith in balcony or plan 2----1) rahane,2) vijay3) ,pujara,4) virat,5) ashwin (as batting allrounder 6) )rohit,7) rishidhawan/bhuvi,8)dhoni,9)jadeja/ojha,10)sham/pandeyi,11)umesh/varun,,,,,,,put down dhawan or rohit get aswin as batsman @ no 5 then u can take extra bowler

  • Android on December 30, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    what I dont understand is why everyone is hating on india. SA Won this series well done, congratulations. but if you're the no.1 team why expect less? and if you are saying indias crap then why are you surprised that India lost?? chill out its only a GAME that none of you participate in..

  • Nish on December 30, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    As expected, Dhoni's defensive strategy of yesterday has back-fired & now we are going to get thrashed today. Not taking the new ball first thing in the morning yesterday just not to leak runs was just a morale boost to the SA team. No wonder even their bowlers slaughtered our useless & mediocre pace bowling! Although it pains me to say this as a die-hard Indian fan, it is perhaps good that we get thrashed today as only then something will be done in getting rid of the 'deadwood' from our team & trying to nurture some young genuinely fast & talented bowlers. Our batting & fielding has been seen to be very good but we will nearly always get soundly beaten when playing abroad if we don't have good & hostile fast bowlers too.

  • sunder on December 30, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    I am really proud of this young team, showing lots of courage and fight towards SA on the first time.. One bad decision costs us... better luck Team India. we r always with u...

  • greig on December 30, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Disappointing fight from India. And to think they were 181/1 on day one...