India won the Second Test at Durban by 87 runs to level the 3-Test Series against South Africa 1-1. A stubborn partnership between Prince and Morkel was the only problem for India after lunch and once they broke it, the match was as good as over. First they had to remove Paul Harris (7 from 26 balls) who got a beauty from Zaheer Khan which angled in and swung away just enough to beat the backfoot defence and hit the off stump.
Morne Morkel walked in with his team having no chance of a win at 182 for 8. Prince kept his end safe and Morkel was good enough to handle the Indian bowling and score some runs. The pair batted out for nearly 12 overs to keep India frustrated and it was in the 73rd over that Ishant Sharma finally got everything right to force a nick behind off a backfoot drive from Morkel (20 from 47 balls). The 9th wicket stand between Prince and Morkel was worth 33 runs. The match was wrapped up quickly when last man Lonwabo Tsotsobe was brilliantly run out by Pujara at short leg who stopped his full blooded flick shot and hurled in a direct throw.
South Africa got bowled out for 215 in 72.3 overs to concede an 87-run defeat. VVS Laxman got the Man of the Match for his heroic knock of 96 in the second innings.
Update at Lunch on Day 4
India are on the brink of a series-leveling win in the Second Test at Durban after reducing hosts South Africa to 182 for 7 by Lunch on the fourth day. The visitors took four wickets this morning giving away just 71 runs to get a firm grip on the match. SA are now left with just Ashwell Prince (28*) battling it out with the last three lower order batsmen.
Sreesanth provided the first breakthrough this morning when he dished out an unplayable delivery about 30 minutes after the start of play to Kallis. It was a nasty lifter out of nowhere which followed an airborne Kallis (17) to hit his gloves and fly straight to gully. Kallis was until then in a steady partnership of 41 with AB de Villiers. A few overs after this, Harbhajan Singh got an lbw decision in his favour from round the sticks to send AB de Villiers (33 from 76 balls) back to the pavilion. Just three overs later, Zaheer Khan returned back to get some reverse swing going and he had Mark Boucher foxed by a late inswinger to hit his bent back pad infront of off. Boucher too was given out lbw and SA were now out of the contest at 143 for 6.
Zaheer got one more wicket in the form of Dale Steyn who got a thick edge to a rash drive to be caught at gully by Pujara. South Africa added 27 more runs after Steyn's dismissal without losing any more wickets before Lunch but they would need a miracle to win this match. South Africa still need as many as 121 runs to win at this stage and the writing is on the wall for a defeat.
- BV Swagath