India win Kolkota test against SA; retain No.1 spot
A superb team effort both in batting and bowling saw India beat South Africa in the 2nd test at Eden Gardens and retain the No.1 test ranking.
One South African stood like a rock and offered stubborn resistance to the Indian bowlers. Hashim Amla thwarted our win hopes until the fag end of the fifth days play nearly carrying the South Africans to safety with an unbeaten 127 to deservedly win the man of the match and man of the series.
With rain ruining the 4th days play, South Africa resumed the fifth day at 115 for three after conceding a lead of 347 runs, the South Africans were all out for 289 with just 15 minutes remaining on a nail-biting last day.
Spinners Harbhajan Singh (5/59) and Amit Mishra (3/84) were the wreckers-in-chief as they ripped through the South African middle order but it was the stout resistance from Amla and the tailenders which delayed the victory.
After the tea break, the Indians were literally racing against time to dismiss the last three wickets in the tense post-tea session and the injury-induced absence of Zaheer Khan did have a bearing.
Harbhajan claimed the last wicket of Mornie Morkel, trapping him leg before wicket, to mark India’s victory and send the vociferous Eden crowd into a frenzy. The fiesty off spinner ran towards the boundary line and was soon hugged by his teammates who celebrated the victory. Amla and Morkel defied the Indians for 124 balls to frustrate the hosts who just could not get the breakthrough despite deploying an attacking field right through the day.
But it was Amla, who achieved the rare feat of scoring centuries in all the innings he played in the series, who took the centrestage with his superb batting, occupying the crease for more than a day and facing 394 balls.
With the Test series ending with honours shared, both the teams will now gear up for the three-match one-day series beginning in Jaipur from Sunday.
With this win, India not only avenged their defeat in the Nagpur series-opener but also nixed South Africa’s bid to snatch the number one Test team’s tag