Sun | Sep 26, 2021

India still No 1 in Test rankings

Published:Friday | February 19, 2010 | 12:00 AM


INDIA CLAIMED a dramatic win in the dying minutes of the second Test against South Africa yesterday, squaring the series 1-1 and retaining top spot in the Test cricket rankings.

India won by an innings and 57 runs, with that big margin dis-guising the nerve-racking ending to the Test as the visitors got within touching distance of forcing a draw, losing the last wicket with only 13 minutes of play remaining.

South Africa's Hashim Amla, named man of the match and man of the series, remained unbeaten on 123. He lost his more accom-plished batting partners at regular intervals on the final day, but shared some dogged, time-evapo-rating stands with the tail enders to push his team toward a draw that would have delivered a series victory and that number-one spot in the rankings.

Harbhajan Singh (5-59) claimed the final wicket, trapping Morne Morkel lbw, prompting theEden Gardens crowd to erupt in celebrations.

Last man Morkel had hung on valiantly, facing 60 balls as he and Amla batted for 76 minutes in their brave but ultimately fruitless 10th-wicket stand. South Africa scored 290 in their second innings after 296 in their first, compared to India's 643-6 declared in their sole innings.

After the spontaneous celebrations among the India players ended, many made their way to congratulate a disconsolate Amla, who batted throughout the final day and faced 394 balls in his innings. He finished with an aggregate of 490 runs across three innings in the two Tests, only being dismissed once.

South Africa, aided by regular rain intervals on day four as they sought to grind out a draw, resumed the final day at 115-3.


With time at the crease counting for more than runs, South Africa's very patient innings received two setbacks in the opening session, as Ashwell Prince and A.B. de Villiers both fell.

Prince (23) was beaten in the flight by a Singh delivery that dipped, and he ballooned a catch to Ishant Sharma at mid-off.

There was a post-match change in the scoring, with five penalty runs being added to the extras and four runs taken off Amla's total. That came as a result of Virender Sehwag deliberately kicking the ball over the boundary rope to prevent Amla taking a three late in an over and thereby retaining strike for the start of the next.