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Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Saturday, 29 March 2008

Dravid reaches Test runs landmark

First Test, Chennai (day four, stumps):
South Africa 540 & 131-1 v India 627

Rahul Dravid reaches 10,000 Test runs
Dravid is hugged by Sourav Ganguly after reaching the milestone


India's Rahul Dravid became only the sixth batsman in history to score 10,000 Test runs as the first Test against South Africa headed for a draw.

The 35-year-old former captain reached the milestone on his way to making 111 for his 25th Test century in Chennai.

Virender Sehwag earlier departed for 319, adding only 10 to his overnight score, as India were all out for 627.

Dale Steyn took 4-103 before Neil McKenzie and Hashim Amla took South Africa to 131-1, a lead of 44.

The Proteas pair batted cautiously, with India's spinners Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble finding increasing turn on the worn pitch.

One such delivery saw Harbhajan end an aggressive knock from South Africa skipper Graeme Smith.

The opener was adjudged lbw to one that turned in at him off a length after hitting 35 from 30 balls, including five fours.

606: DEBATE
SwingBowler

McKenzie brought up his second half century of the match to end the day unbeaten on 59, with first-innings centurion Amla 35 not out.

India resumed 72 runs short of the tourists' first-innings total of 540 with nine wickets in hand and the focus quickly shifted to Dravid after Sehwag got a thick outside edge to a Makhaya Ntini delivery which flew straight to McKenzie at first slip.

Although Sehwag fell well short of Brian Lara's world record of 400 not out, it was the 15th-highest score in Test cricket, the best ever in India and a personal career best.

Sachin Tendulkar replaced Sehwag, but his innings was an anti-climax, lasting just five deliveries before he was caught by Jacques Kallis off Makhaya Ntini for a duck.

Neil McKenzie and Hashim Amla
McKenzie and Amla batted out the evening session in Chennai

Tendulkar was replaced by Sourav Ganguly, who stayed long enough to see Dravid pass 10,000 runs, thereby becoming the third Indian to join the exclusive group, following current team-mate Sachin Tendulkar and former captain Sunil Gavaskar.

Lara is Test cricket's leading scorer with 11,953 runs, while Australians Allan Border and Steve Waugh make up the six.

Dravid went on to reach his 25th Test century off 272 balls, and after losing Ganguly to the spin of Paul Harris for 24, he was finally out when he edged Ntini to Kallis in the slips, having struck 15 boundaries in his six and a half hour knock.

Steyn then showed why he is the most talked-about young fast bowler in international cricket by having Mahendra Dhoni caught behind for 16 and bowling Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and RP Singh as India declined from 598-5 to 612-9.

But he was denied a five-wicket haul when left-armer Harris claimed further reward for 53 overs of hard toil when he accepted a return catch from VVS Laxman (39) to finish with figures of 3-203.


India batsman Rahul Dravid: "It's a proud moment for sure. For me, growing up, I dreamt of playing for India. When I look back, I probably exceeded my expectations with what I have done over the last 10 to 12 years.

"The image of Gavaskar raising his bat on scoring his 10,000th run in 1987 is still clear in my mind. I never thought I'd get this far when I began my Test career in 1996.

"I never had an ambition to do it because I never believed - it is just a reflection of my longevity in the game."

South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn: "It's difficult bowling here. The pitch doesn't assist you much and we are not used to the balls we use here - they get scuffed up pretty quickly due to the pitch - so it is a whole new experience.

"In conditions like this you have got to be able to put in the hard yards to get wickets.

"At one stage I bowled close to 27 overs and I hadn't taken a wicket and then in my last couple of overs I picked up four."




see also
Nel discarded as SA quota bites
12 Mar 08 |  Cricket
South Africa in India 2008
23 Jan 08 |  Cricket


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