India, SA Test heads for a draw

Opener Neil McKenzie hit an unbeaten 88 for South Africa against a sloppy India as the first test headed towards a draw on the final day on Sunday.

South Africa reached 212 for two in their second innings at lunch, a lead of 125 runs, with the loss of only Hashim Amla’s wicket for a chancy 81 in the session on a flat pitch.

McKenzie, who missed his century by six runs in the first innings, added 157 runs for the second wicket with Amla.

McKenzie and Amla, top-scorer with 159 in the first innings, steadily built the score after resuming on 131 for one. India scored 627 in reply to South Africa’s first innings 540 all out.

India dropped Amla twice, on 55 and 72.

Shanthakumaran Sreesanth first failed to hold on to a running attempt at backward square leg after Amla top-edged a sweep against off spinner Harbhajan Singh, who remonstrated angrily with the fielder.

Left-arm paceman Rudra Pratap Singh, without a wicket on his return from a hamstring injury, then dropped a sharp return catch.

Amla, who struck nine fours, failed to cash in with a second hundred when he edged an Anil Kumble leg break to Rahul Dravid at slip.

McKenzie was determined to make amends for his first innings disappointment and played solidly at the other end.

The batsman, who hit a double century against Bangladesh to notch a world record opening partnership with skipper Graeme Smith, has hit nine fours so far. Opener Virender Sehwag hit an Indian record 319 and Dravid 111 for his 25th hundred before fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini shared seven wickets to restrict India’s first innings lead to 87 runs on the fourth day.
- Reuters

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