KSA Shark ©

India v SA 1st test – Day 2

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news on 6 Feb 2010 at 20:55
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Jacques Kallis defended like a rock, attacked like The Rock, put behind him the odd play and miss, and scored 120 out of South Africa’s 193 for 2 by tea. His partner when at 6 for 2, Hashim Amla, gave him the strike when he was in the zone, and took the scoring charge after tea when India slowed the scoring down with defensive fields and reverse-swing. Both scored centuries, both remained unbeaten, put together South Africa’s highest partnership against India, and by stumps Zaheer Khan’s opening spell of 6-4-2-2 had become footnote material.

Zaheer’s burst seemed to have arrested the turn of events all going against India. VVS Laxman didn’t recover in time. Rohit Sharma injured himself playing football. Reserve wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha made debut as a specialist batsman. MS Dhoni lost the toss. Then Zaheer brought relief, but not without some luck.

A sharp bouncer from Zaheer hit Ashwell Prince on the arm guard and the batsman was given out caught behind. Perhaps used to the review system, Prince wanted to challenge the decision, but had to take the walk back. There was no luck involved in how Zaheer set him up, though. He beat him with deliveries coming in, got an edge with one that left the batsman, and then finally slipped in the bouncer. Not too short, headed for the face, not giving Prince any room to get out of the way. It didn’t take Zaheer long to squeeze past Graeme Smith’s angled bat either.

Then Kallis and Amla took over. Not through a brilliant counterattack right away. When they came together, Ishant Sharma was disciplined in support to Zaheer, and the spinners found disconcerting turn. Scoring took a backseat: the first boundary came in the 10th over, a square cut by Amla, also the first sweetly-timed shot of the series.

Spin came on in the 12th over, at 16 for 2, and immediately there was turn. Perhaps too much turn. Amit Mishra spun legbreaks across batsmen on more than one occasion, was denied an lbw because the ball spun too much, and started looking for too much, bowling outside leg too.

Kallis remained serene with all this happening around him. Not at the cost of urgency. Frustrated, Mishra tried too hard, looking for the unplayable quick delivery, and when he pitched ever so short, Kallis pulled him over midwicket in back-to-back overs. It ended the period of struggle, taking South Africa to 47 for 2 in the 22nd over, and Kallis level with Amla’s score – 21 not out. Few would have imagined what was to come: when Kallis reached his 34th Test hundred – level with Sunil Gavaskar and Brian Lara – Amla had moved to 38. In close to a couple of hours, Amla had scored 17, Kallis 79, and India had lost initiative.

That shouldn’t take credit away from Amla. He came in to bat before Kallis, but by then had faced 50 deliveries fewer, making sure the better batsman faced more bowling.

After hitting Mishra out of the attack before lunch, Kallis turned his attention to Harbhajan. Consistently he got outside the line of off stump, making Harbhajan bowl closer and closer. When he got too close and too full, Kallis slog-swept twice, and later played the trademark inside-out drive.

Zaheer came back for a spell before lunch, managed some reverse, but he was taken for runs too. Two Kallis shots either side of the break against Zaheer stood out among the many special ones. Zaheer was getting the ball to straighten from round the stumps and managed to square Kallis up on the odd occasion, but twice he strayed narrowly. Kallis waited for those deliveries like only the select few can, and closed the face at the last moment, beating deep fine leg on both occasions. The second of those took him to 85 off 138 balls, out of South Africa’s 124. He had been 12 off 39 at one point.

Mishra still kept getting deliveries to spin across Kallis, but none of that carried into the next ball he would face. Of the 89 balls Kallis faced from Mishra, he scored 54 runs. Not bad at all when the bowler is troubling you. The century came in typical fashion. Kallis read a topspinner from Harbhajan from round the stumps, went deep into the crease, let the ball speed on to him, turned the bat face, got it past leg slip, and strolled through for a single. Harbhajan too was picked on by Kallis, going for 45 off 69 deliveries. He couldn’t even manage a maiden.

After tea India came out with more defensive field sets, and Kallis with a more peaceful mindset. That’s when Amla took over, using his feet well to Harbhajan and Mishra, scoring through covers against both. Unlike Kallis, he did present two chances. When on 61, he edged Zaheer between Dhoni and M Vijay, closer to the slip than the keeper. On 82, he hit uppishly towards S Badrinath at short mid-on, but the debutant couldn’t dive in front.

In the final session, Amla scored 55 of the 92 runs, hitting six boundaries. One of those, a sweep off Virender Sehwag, took him to his eighth hundred. Apart from those two half chances, India failed to create any opportunity on a pitch that had become slower still, and a solid Kallis had eyes firmly set on the elusive double-century.

Courtesy of Cricinfo


  • Ramiz Raja on the ball tampering issue surrounding Shahid Afridi

    Cricket is a great leveller. Nothing better exemplifies this truism than Shahid Afrid’s shocking fall from grace. It took a fleeting moment of madness for him to become the villain of the game. Our hero’s stocks are trading at zero today.

    The wrath directed at him is understandable. The hardliners can certainly take him anywhere with this – to the cleaners or the gallows. They can push for his ouster from the team. Afridi’s act may well have undone years of work towards dispelling the dark shadows of ball-tampering that seem to have hounded Pakistan cricket forever.

    But it is also time to remind ourselves that this madness stems from a certain mindset and a background. Afridi comes from an era, a cricketing culture, where ball-tampering is considered a normal cricket activity, the done thing on flat Pakistani pitches – an art form and not a sin. It’s been a part of the Pakistan team’s standard operating procedure.

    All teams have one. The Aussies have been brought up on sledging, and while the rest may see it as uncouth, offensive behaviour that is against the principles of this game, it is appreciated by them as a legitimate weapon to be used against oppositions. England moan when they make a tour of the subcontinent, and maybe this is part of their operating procedure.

    Pakistan under the tutelage of Imran Khan learned the value of ”ball keeping”. It was a wonderful science. The instructions were to keep the ball dry; to parent the shiny side and ignore the other, so that the elements, like a dry pitch and bristly outfield, could naturally rough it up. Spinners were constantly asked not to dampen the ball with sweaty palms. The scratching was left to the elder statesmen of the team, but it was a last resort – an act of desperation that its perpetrators did not boast about. Only their sheepish behaviour gave away the story; that the ”hand of God” had played its part.

    Reverse-swinging the ball is certainly an art. And the condition of the ball is only one aspect of it. At times even a well-looked-after ball can behave against its masters’ wishes and not bend. Factors like breeze and cloud are needed to aid the process. Most important in the process of reverse swing is the bowler’s craft: the speed of the ball, the angle of the arm, the wrist position, the length of the delivery – these are what produce the magic.

    Calling ball-tampering unlawful and an offence is regrettable. If ball-tampering is being openly admitted by the players, and given that it is difficult to assign reasons for why reverse swing happens (since even tampering is often ineffective in generating reverse swing), shouldn’t the authorities stop looking at the practice with suspicion and instead look to bring it into the cricket syllabus so that we can all move on? It will challenge a batsman’s technique and will improve the standard of competition. Test cricket in the subcontinent on dead pitches will perhaps not be boring to watch anymore.

    As long as there is imbalance between bat and ball, there exists a possibility, a risk, of someone playing God and attempting to bridge the gap between the two. Bowlers have been dealt a rough hand by the administrators. Flat pitches, thick bats, short boundaries, limits on bouncers, free hit and Powerplays are just a few things that have neutralised bowlers. Is it not wrong that a game that preaches equality and fair play has confined bowlers to the status of inferiors in a master-servant relationship with the batsmen?

    Offspinners were forced to revolt against the unjust system, and they created the doosra, which has managed to bring a semblance of balance to a skewed relationship and also reinvented a dying art. Some would say bowling the doosra is tantamount to chucking; others view it as a justified mutiny against the lop-sided rules bowlers operate under. The managers of the game need to understand that a six may bring momentary pleasure, but the fall of a wicket is, and will always be, the ultimate high in cricket.

    So give Afridi a break. He may not have played this one by the book but he certainly did read from the book of his predecessors. And he was forced to play God.

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.02.10 20:58:04 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) :

    Oh cry me a river. he is a cheat, he has been caught cheating. No matter HOW you try and justify it he cheated.

    I am so loving the problems that Pakistan find themselves in at the moment. (not nice to enjoy the misfortune of others but I can’t help myself with these guys)

    1st they accuse Darryl Hair of having a vedetta against them when he abandons the test match in SA becasue telly tubby UlHaq refuses to bring his team onto the field after being caught ball tampering and the ICC relents and declares the match a draw in the record books.

    Then nobody bids on the pakistani players in the IPL Auction and they threaten to complain to the ICC. What are they going to say? “They don’t want to play with us boohooo, we want our mommies”

    And now Afridi gets caught mistaking the cricket ball for an apple.

    LEKKER KRY VIR JULLE!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.02.10 21:03:41 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Famine in Pakistan they will even eat cricket balls.

  • Comment 3, posted at 06.02.10 21:11:13 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Ag Kallis missed his bloody double century again. 🙄

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.02.10 08:28:56 by klempie Reply
  • Jacques and Hash got the highest third innings partnership by any team in India.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.02.10 08:34:19 by klempie Reply
  • well done hashim!!

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.02.10 09:57:55 by Megatron Reply
  • Hash has the highest SA score at number 3. He’s currently on 242 just 35 short of Biff’s record.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.02.10 12:06:51 by klempie Reply
  • Bouch goes for 39.

    SA 554/6

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.02.10 12:24:49 by klempie Reply
  • SA 558/6 declared.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.02.10 12:41:05 by klempie Reply
  • End of day two.

    India 25/0

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.02.10 13:03:25 by klempie Reply

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