Cricinfo: India v South Africa 2007-08

1st Test - Day 4: India v South Africa at Chennai - Mar 26-30, 2007

Ntini finds his radar as South Africa fight back

Virender Sehwag

Makhaya Ntini made up for his torrid display on the third day, when he conceded 99 runs from 18 overs without taking a wicket; by claiming three vital scalps in his 10 overs as India were bowled out for 627 when they were 481 for 1 at one stage.

Ntini found success with the new ball in his third over when Virender Sehwag, after dispatching him to the midwicket boundary to move to 319, nicked the next ball to Neil McKenzie at slip, who held on to a sharp chance. It was sweet revenge for Ntini, after having been smashed by a rampaging Sehwag for 69 runs at a strike rate of 135.29 on the previous day.

In his next over, Ntini netted the big fish - Sachin Tendulkar, who fell without scoring. Ntini was bowling a tight line outside off stump when Tendulkar pushed at one away from his body as Jacques Kallis took the ensuing edge inches off the ground at second slip. These two strikes halted India's progress, as they adopted a defensive approach.

Ntini had to wait until after lunch to claim his next victim, Rahul Dravid, who, after scoring 111, poked at a short of a length ball and got a thick inside edge to Kallis at first slip. Though seen from a purely statistical perspective, Ntini's figures of 28-3-128-3 donít make for impressive reading, but it gave the rest of his South African team-mates just the right boost and improved their chances of playing out a draw.


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