A riveting Test match between India and South Africa ended in a draw | AP photos
India held South Africa for a draw in what would go down as one of the most exciting Test matches in the cricket history. India was set up for a win on the last day of the cricket match at Johannesburg, except South Africa had other plans.
India made early inroads into the South African front claiming the in-form Alviro Petersen and the Mr. Dependable Jacques Kallis. Kallis fell to Zaheer as his 300th Test victim.
That's when AB de Villiers walked in and since then it was all South Africa. AB and Faf du Plessis toyed with the Indian bowling and struck an important partnership for the fifth wicket. The winds started favouring the Proteas and it seemed South Africa was going for the kill.
It all looked like a cakewalk for the hosts. De Villiers and Du Plessis were looking comfortable. AB scored his 18th century and the third against India. Both AB and Faf were cruising along. But then came the turning point of the match. Ishant came up with the fatal blow as AB misjudged the line of his delivery and the crucial partnership was broken.
With Duminy and Philander at the crease, South Africa still had a chance of pulling off the historic win. Duminy showed promise with a brilliant straight drive off Shami. But Shami had the last laugh when Duminy was caught in two minds by a ball which was a tad short from the juicy volley he given away a couple of balls earlier.
Vernon Philander was next in line. With his all-round abilities he carted the Indian bowlers all round the park, while Du Plessis kept the other end intact. It was again advantage South Africa. But there's no telling with cricket. The twist in the tale came when Ajinkya Rahane ran out Du Plessis for 134. South Africa was seven down, and with injured Morne Morkel as the last batsman, India finally started seeing light. Dhoni tried out a couple of things that dried up the flow of runs. With 16 needed off the last over, the match was heading for draw. Steyn played to the galleries as he finished off in style with a towering six off Shami's final delivery.
All we can say is all is well that ends well.
India (First innings) 280 South Africa (First innings) 244 India (Second innings) 421
South Africa (Second innings) (Target 458) (Overnight 138/2) Alviro Petersen b Mohammed Shami 76 Graeme Smith run out (Rahane) 44 Hashim Amla b Mohammed Shami 4 Faf du Plessis run out (Rahane) 134 Jacques Kallis lbw b Khan 34 AB de Villiers b I Sharma 103 JP Duminy b Mohammed Shami 5 Vernon Philander not out 25 Dale Steyn not out 6 Extras (b 2, lb 7, w 8, nb 2) 18 Total (Seven wickets in 136 overs) 450
Fall of wickets: 1-108 (Smith, 30.4 overs), 2-118 (Amla, 36.2), 3-143 (Petersen, 49.2), 4-197 (Kallis, 60.4), 5-402 (de Villiers, 123.1), 6-407 (Duminy, 124.4), 7-442 (du Plessis, 132.5)
Match details: Toss: India chose to bat Umpires: Steve Davis (Australia) and Rod Tucker (Australia) TV umpire: Shaun George (South Africa) Match referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe) Reserve umpire: Adrian Holdstock (South Africa) Player of the Match: Virat Kohli.