Johannesburg Test: It's Win-win - The New Indian Express

Johannesburg Test: It's Win-win

Published: 22nd December 2013 10:01 PM

Last Updated: 23rd December 2013 03:22 AM

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.

Scoreboard

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)

Bowling
Zaheer Khan 34-1-135-1
Ishant Sharma 29-4-91-1
Mohammed Shami 28-5-107-3
Ravichandran Ashwin 36-5-83-0
Murali Vijay 1-0-3-0
Mahendra Singh Dhoni 2-0-4-0
Virat Kohli 6-0-18-0

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.

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