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Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Wednesday, 29 December 2010

India beat South Africa to level Test series at 1-1

Second Test (day four):
India 205 & 228 bt South Africa 131 & 215 by 87 runs Match scorecard

India celebrate another wicket in Durban
India took the seven remaining South Africa wickets on the fourth day

World number one side India levelled the three-match Test series with South Africa after a 87-run win in Durban.

Resuming on 111-3 and needing a further 192 to reach their target of 303, South Africa added only 12 runs before losing the key wicket of Jacques Kallis.

He was caught in the gully for 17 in the eighth over of the day and despite a valiant unbeaten 39 from Ashwell Prince they were all out for 215.

The deciding Test takes place in Cape Town and starts on Sunday.

Only twice had a 300-plus victory target been achieved at the Durban ground, with the highest being 340 made by South Africa against Australia in 2002.

A third score looked highly unlikely when Kallis was surprised by a vicious, virtually unplayable ball from Sreesanth that reared up from a length, fizzed into his glove as he fended it away from his throat and looped gently to Virender Sehwag at gully.

jacques Kallis
Kallis can only fend a brutal ball from Sreesanth to gully

Umpire Steve Davis briefly halted the celebrations to check if the delivery had been a no-ball, but to India's relief replays showed Sreesanth's foot was sufficiently behind the line.

Only 13 were added before another important wicket fell, AB de Villiers lbw to one from spinner Harbhajan Singh that straightened from around the wicket.

Replays suggested the ball would have gone over the stumps, but with no review process in place the South Africans had to face up to the loss of their fifth wicket, with 167 still needed.

Sixteen balls later the sixth wicket fell and again the home side might well have been reprieved had the referral system been in operation.

Left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan trapped Mark Boucher on the pad but the ball appeared to be missing off-stump, although Australian official Davis thought otherwise and gave the wicketkeeper out for just one.

The first boundary of the day did not arrive until the 17th over of the session when Dale Steyn edged Harbhajan past slip.

Steyn added another four to third man off Zaheer, but the left-armer took his revenge when after softening him up with a series of bouncers he produced a ball that moved away from the around the wicket and received a loose drive that flew to the first of two gullies.

That brought in Harris with 148 still needed and India were convinced they had dismissed him first ball to a catch at short-leg.


The umpires asked for a replay but it showed the ball was hit into the ground and Harris survived a barrage of short-pitched bowling from Zaheer and Ishant Sharma to take their side within 121 of victory at the lunch interval.

But in the second over of the afternoon session Zaheer produced a magnificent delivery from around the wicket that held its line, beat an uncertain defensive push from Harris on the back foot and clipped the off bail.

The requirement had fallen to 98 when Morne Morkel was caught in the gully off Sharma, but umpire Davis called a no-ball, though replays indicated the bowler's front foot was fractionally behind the line.

Morkel's bold innings ended on 20 in Sharma's next over, however, when a back foot force resulted in a nick to wicketkeeper MS Dhoni, breaking a useful partnership of 33.

Last man Lonwabo Tsotsobe was then dismissed first ball when his defensive push was sharply collected by Cheteshwar Pujara at short-leg and his rapid throw and direct hit saw the big left-arm seamer short of his ground.

VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman won the Man-of-the-Match award for his calm second innings 96

Having lost the first Test in Centurion by an innings and 25 runs it was an impressive performance from Dhoni's team, India's first win in four attempts at Kingsmead and only their second Test victory in 14 matches in South Africa.

Dhoni's team remain first in the world rankings and he refused to put a rating on the win, instead saying: "What this means is that we have a good side.

"A bit of worry for us was to get 20 wickets, but the bowlers did really well over here.

"We've played consistent cricket over a period of time. This process started in September 2008 and in the next two years we are in a position where we can say that most of the places we have done well.

"So it's a proud moment, 2010 has been good for us."

Counterpart Graeme Smith blamed his side's poor display in the first innings and said: "I think we probably lost the Test match on day two. I don't think it was a 131 wicket and if we'd manage to draw level with India then it would have made our lives a lot easier in the fourth innings.

"We had one or two unlucky decisions, but I thought India bowled well. I don't think we played terribly in the Test, but that 131 wasn't good enough."

Meanwhile Smith urged governing body the International Cricket Council to bring the Umpire Decision Referral System (UDRS) in for every Test series.

It was not in use in this series as India opposed the idea, and the current regulation stipulates that both teams must agree.

"My message all along is that the ICC needs to take responsibility for that, they need to lead the way," Smith said.

"They can't leave it up to boards to negotiate for those things. If the technology is available and they want us to trial it and use it, then we must use it and get use to using it to have an idea if it works or not.

"Using it one in every seven series is not going to benefit anybody and we're not going to get a good idea whether it benefits the game or not."

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see also
India leave tough target for SA
28 Dec 10 |  Cricket
India gain control of second Test
27 Dec 10 |  Cricket
South Africa seal win over India
20 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Tendulkar hits landmark 50th ton
19 Dec 10 |  Cricket
India in South Africa 2010-11
18 Jan 11 |  Cricket

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