Morkel strikes twice as India struggle in first test

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Morkel strikes twice as India struggle in first test

Morne Morkel claimed two wickets as India inched to 55 for three at tea on the first day of the first test against South Africa at Centurion on Thursday.

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Published: Thu 16 Dec 2010, 9:26 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:24 AM

Rain delayed the start of play until 10 minutes before the scheduled tea break, with the Indian batsmen, who were sent in to bat, going toe-to-toe with a fiery South African pace attack for 20 overs before the first interval.

Morkel claimed two for four in seven outstanding overs and gave the batsmen a torrid time with a mix of vicious short balls and fuller-length deliveries that moved off the seam.

India’s troubles began in the third over, when Virender Sehwag’s daring approach backfired and he was dismissed for a duck.

Sehwag swished at the first ball of Dale Steyn’s second over and edged the ball high to third man, where Hashim Amla was perfectly positioned to take the catch.

Fellow opener Gautam Gambhir, in contrast, showed a lack of adventure as he scored five runs in more than an hour before a hesitant push outside off stump edged the ball to first slip to give Morkel his first wicket.

Rahul Dravid dead-batted the short stuff well for an hour, scoring 14 before Morkel trapped him in front of the stumps with a delivery that jagged back into the batsman and kept a shade low.

India were 27 for three, but Sachin Tendulkar, whose pursuit of his 50th test century is one of the features of the match, and VVS Laxman were a study in concentration as they doubled the score before the break.

Tendulkar was 22 not out and Laxman unbeaten on six.


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