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India need six more wickets to win 1st Test against SA

AP12_22_2013_000063B

India grabbed two wickets in the first session to reduce South Africa to 236 for 4 at lunch on the fifth and final day as the first cricket Test remained wide open for a result here today

AP12_22_2013_000063BJohannesburg: India grabbed two wickets in the first session to reduce South Africa to 236 for 4 at lunch on the fifth and final day as the first cricket Test remained wide open for a result here today.

Faf du Plessis (42) and A B de Villiers (25) were at the crease at the break at Wanderers, after Zaheer Khan (15-0-61-1) had dismissed Jacques Kallis to take his 300th Test wicket in his 89th match.

The Proteas scored 98 runs in the first session in 29 overs and need another 222 runs to win with two sessions remaining, while India need six more wickets. But, an injured Morne Morkel is doubtful to come out and bat after he twisted his ankle on day three.

South Africa began the day at their overnight score of 138/2, with Alviro Petersen on 76 and du Plessis on 10. Pacer Mohammad Shami (17-3-63-2) was the first bowler deployed by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as India hunted for their second Test win at this ground in four Tests played here. He bowled with fire, moving the ball both ways despite the ball being 45 overs old.

Peterson started with a lazy shot on the very first ball of the day, an uncharacteristic one given how he played in the evening session of day four. Even as the batsman may have hoped to get his hundred, it was a pointer that perhaps this was not going to be his day.

And four overs later, Shami found a way past his defense. An incoming delivery kept low and Peterson got an inside edge onto his stumps. He was out for 76, without adding a run to his overnight score. In all, he faced 162 balls and hitting nine fours.

Shami was bowling a fiery five-over spell in first hour, which yielded 56 runs, and he had a loud appeal against Kallis turned down first ball. The ball seemed to be going down leg-side by a few inches and the great all-rounder escaped a golden pair. Kallis found his bearings thereafter, scoring at a quick clip with a streak of boundaries, and scored 31 of the 50-run partnership with du Plessis.

Kallis, however, seemed to be in a hurry chasing down a huge score and looked set, when umpire Rod Tucker wrongly adjudged him LBW off Zaheer in the 61st over. He was out for 34 runs off 37 balls, as a huge inside edge rocked his front pads.

But the umpire’s finger went up and Kallis became Zaheer’s 300th Test victim in his 89th Test. The veteran left-arm speedster is the fourth highest wicket-taker for India in Test cricket, after Anil Kumble (619 wickets in 132 Tests), Kapil Dev (434 wickets in 131 Tests) and Harbhajan Singh (413 wickets in 101 Tests).

The 200 came up for South Africa in the 61st over, as de Villiers and du Plessis avoided further damage. Spin was introduced in the 65th over, with R Ashwin (21-3-49-0) coming to bowl, while Virat Kohli (2-0-7-0) was introduced into the attack with 15 minutes to go for lunch.

De Villiers survived an LBW appeal in the 71st over, bowled by Ashwin, but the ball appeared to be sailing above leg-stump. Shami bowled the final over before the break and the batsman survived another LBW call, with the ball seeming to sail just above the off-stump.

PTI

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