India declare with mammoth lead at Eden Gardens

Vangipurappu Laxman and Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit magnificent centuries to put India in sight of a series-levelling victory over South Africa in the second and final Test on Tuesday.

Laxman carved out an unbeaten 143 and Dhoni struck 132 not out as the hosts declared their first innings closed at 643-6, a lead of 347.

The last recognised batting pair put on 259 in an Indian record seventh wicket stand after the hosts resumed on 342-5, 46 runs ahead of South Africa (296), who had rallied with three late wickets on Monday.

South Africa were six for no loss in their second innings when play was called off due to bad light.

The tourists delayed taking the second new ball for four overs in gloomy morning conditions that allowed the overnight pair of Laxman and nightwatchman Amit Mishra (28) to settle down as India went on to post their highest innings total against South Africa.


Rangy fast bowler Morne Morkel had Mishra caught at slip with the new ball but the nightwatchman had by then put on a further 42 runs with Laxman, who missed the opening test due to injury.

South Africa had clawed back into the contest the previous evening after centuries by Virender Sehwag (165) and Sachin Tendulkar (106) put India well in control of the match they must win to retain the number one ranking.

South Africa are bidding to win their first test series in India for a decade, which would also reclaim the top ranking after the tourists won the opening test in Nagpur by an innings.

Lucky man
Laxman, who passed 7 000 test runs, hit 16 fours as he reached his 15th test century. He enjoyed some luck when he was dropped by stand-in wicketkeeper AB de Villiers on 23 and JP Duminy at backward point on 48.

Dhoni offered a difficult chance to Jacques Kallis at slip off left-arm spinner Paul Harris but recovered to plunder the attack for 12 fours and three sixes as he reached his fourth test hundred.

It was only the second occasion that four Indian batsmen have scored centuries in a single test innings.

Dhoni hit two successive sixes off spinner JP Duminy as he stepped up the tempo before effecting the declaration with 11 overs still remaining before close of play.

South Africa failed to take at least five difficult chances on the field on the third day alone, allowing India to prosper as the hosts slowly regained control of the test.

India are trying to avoid their first series defeat at home since 2004 to Australia after having lost their first test in almost two years at Nagpur last week. — Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Extract: Trying to grasp something unfathomable

In ‘A Map to the Door of No Return’ Dionne Brand reads VS Naipaul as a sorrowfully spiteful narrator, full of the despair of exile

It’s just not cricket

Near Makhanda in the Eastern Cape in the village of Salem is a cricket pitch that is said to be the oldest in the country. Watered by blood and trauma, rolled with frontier nostalgia and contemporary paranoia, how does it play?

India and China border conflict intensifies

A frontier dispute between the two Asian giants turned deadly for the first time in 45 years. Observers argue the skirmish was exacerbated by Delhi’s annexation of Kashmir and Ladakh

Cartoon: Carlos on the India-China border clashes

This past week saw conflict between the two countries resurface

Censorship, surveillance could be the biggest rights challenges post Covid-19

The impacts of these infringements could last well beyond the life of the Covid-19 pandemic

Inequality manifests in stimulus

Structural forces mean emerging economies can’t offer the necessary Covid-19 fiscal-relief packages
Advertising

Health workers afraid of passing Covid to family

While nurses bear the brunt of the most psychologically affected of health workers, most are concerned about access to protective supplies

Metro cops, SAPS clash over control

Tensions between the City of Cape Town and the police service over responsibilities mirrors the strain between national and local government
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday