Gambhir, Tendulkar steady stumbling India - Pakistan Today

Gambhir, Tendulkar steady stumbling India

CAPE TOWN – Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar ground out the first century partnership of the match as India overcame the loss of two early wickets on the second day of the third and final Test against South Africa at Newlands on Sunday.
Gambhir (65 not out) and Tendulkar (49 not out) put on an unbeaten 114 for the third wicket to enable India to reach 142 for two at the close in reply to South Africa’s Jacques Kallis-inspired 362 all out.
The stand enabled India to stay in with a chance of winning a series in South Africa for the first time. The sides came to Newlands locked at one-all. Kallis was the mainstay of the South African innings, making 161 before being last man out. Kallis batted superbly with tailenders Paul Harris and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, taking his score from 100 to 161 while the last two wickets added 79 runs.
It was the South African batting star’s 39th Test century, moving him into joint second place on the all-time Test centurions list alongside Ricky Ponting of Australia and behind only India’s Sachin Tendulkar, who has made 50 hundreds.
It was also the highest of seven Test centuries by Kallis at Newlands, his home ground.The innings came at a cost to South Africa, however, as Kallis aggravated a side strain while batting and did not take the field for the Indian innings, leaving South Africa with just four bowlers who were made to toil under a hot sun as Gambhir and Tendulkar dug in. Hot weather is predicted for Tuesday when the pitch, which still offered the bowlers some assistance off the seam, should be at its best for batting.
Virender Sehwag again had a disappointing first innings after being out for nought in the first Test in Centurion and 25 in the second match in Durban. He made 13 before a typically flat-footed drive against Steyn spooned to mid-off where South African captain Graeme Smith made a good catch, diving forward. Rahul Dravid was out for five in unusual circumstances when Gambhir was dropped on 10 by Alviro Petersen at gully off Tsotsobe. The batsmen went through for a run but second slip AB de Villiers picked up the ball and threw down the stumps with Dravid just short of his ground. Gambhir was dropped off Tsotsobe when De Villiers spilled a high chance at second slip when the batsman was on 60. He also played several false shots but showed good composure in a 159-ball innings which included eight fours.
Tendulkar edged Tsotsobe dangerously close to Ashwell Prince at third slip when he had eight but went on to play a solid, cautious innings, facing 106 balls before the close.
South Africa’s eventual total seemed unlikely when they lost four wickets in the space of 26 balls against the second new ball during the first hour of the day. Three of the wickets fell to fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, who finished with five for 114. It was Sreesanth’s third five-wicket haul in Tests.
Paul Harris helped Kallis add 27 for the ninth wicket and Kallis then gave a masterly exhibition of keeping the strike as he and Tsotsobe added an unbeaten 52 for the last wicket before Kallis edged an attempted square cut against Zaheer Khan in trying to keep the strike yet again. Kallis reached a watchful century off 209 balls but scored his next 61 off only 82 deliveries, adding ten more boundaries to the nine in his first 100.



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