Play resumes in Kolkata after rain delay

The fourth day’s play in the second and final Test between India and South Africa started 93 minutes later than scheduled on Wednesday because of overnight rain.

South Africa resumed on six without loss in their second innings, 341 runs adrift of the hosts, who appear on course for a series-tying victory after declaring on 643-6 the previous evening.

Venkatsai Laxman and Mahendra Singh Dhoni slammed unbeaten centuries to put India in firm control on Tuesday.

Laxman hit 143 and Dhoni made 132 as India piled up a record 643-6 before declaring their first innings shortly before stumps on the third day at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

India’s powerful batting boosted their chances of squaring the series after they lost the first Test in Nagpur by an innings and six runs.

A drawn series will also enable Dhoni’s men to retain their number one position in the official Test rankings.

India’s total was their highest against South Africa, surpassing the 627 during the Chennai Test in 2008.

“We expected India to come back strongly,” said South Africa’s batting consultant Kepler Wessels.

“They’re a very good team under their own conditions. We certainly expected them to put up this sort of fight. If you don’t take your opportunities against a good side, you’re going to pay the price.”

South Africa hold a 1-0 lead and are bidding to win their first series on Indian soil for a decade and leapfrog the hosts at the top of the world rankings. — AFP

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