Smith falls after aggressive start to chase

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Smith falls after aggressive start to chase

Captain Graeme Smith made a belligerent 37 before he was out in the last over before tea as South Africa set out in pursuit of a victory target of 303 against India at Kingsmead.

By (AFP)

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Published: Tue 28 Dec 2010, 7:05 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:26 AM

South Africa were 70 for one at tea, with Alviro Petersen unbeaten on 24.

Smith went on the attack against left-arm opening bowler Zaheer Khan, hitting two boundaries off the first over and taking 12 runs, including two more fours, off Khan’s next over. After conceding another boundary to Smith, Khan was taken out of the attack after three overs which cost 24 runs.

Smith made 37 off 38 balls in an opening stand of 63 with Petersen before he top-edged an attempted pull against Sree Sreesanth, sending the ball high in the air to enable wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to run to square leg to hold an easy catch.

VVS Laxman was mainly responsible for South Africa having to chase over 300, making a polished 96 before he was last man out, caught behind off Dale Steyn as he tried to keep the strike.

India lost their last three wickets for 10 runs in 8.5 overs after lunch.

South African hopes of chasing a relatively small target rose when Morne Morkel bowled Cheteshwar Pujara with the sixth ball of the day, but Laxman remained unruffled and shared stands of 48 for the sixth wicket with Dhoni (21) and 70 for the eighth wicket with Zaheer Khan (27).

In a low-scoring match, Laxman’s score was more than double the previous highest - his own 38 in the first innings.

The stands with Dhoni and Khan were also the best of the match to that point, with the pitch playing easier than on the first two days.

Laxman batted for 280 minutes, faced 171 balls and hit 12 fours.

Boucher’s catch off Laxman’s edged drive was his ninth of the match, equalling the South African record set by Dave Richardson and equalled twice by Boucher previously.

Only one run had been added to the overnight 92 for four when Pujara fended a sharply lifting delivery from Morkel into his stumps.

Dhoni batted aggressively before he was caught behind off Lonwabo Tsotsobe, while Harbhajan Singh made only four before he was caught at second slip off Morkel.

Khan, who was out for nought in the first innings, missed wild swings against both Tsotsobe and Morkel before settling down to provide valuable support to Laxman.

Khan was lucky to survive an lbw appeal by Dale Steyn when he had 10 and the total was on 181, with umpire Steve Davis ruling the ball had hit his bat, a decision which was contradicted by television replays. No umpire review system is in place for the series, however, and South Africa were unable to challenge the decision.

Tsotsobe took three for 43, while Morkel took three for 47.

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