Highlights, 2nd Test: Late Wickets Put India On Top As SA Finish Day 1 On 269

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Despite Ajinkya Rahane's heroics, Indian middle and lower-order failed to mount the slightest semblance of a fight. South Africa need 335 to post a lead in 1st innings. Follow the match as it happened here: (Match Scorecard | Text Commentary)

2204 hrs (IST): That's it for the day. South Africa finish at 82/0 with Smith 35 not out and Petersen batting on 46. They trail India by 252 runs. The day was dominated by South Africa as they took the last five Indian wickets for just 14 runs and now have a solid foundation to make a big total.


2155 hrs (IST): Meanwhile in Abu Dhabi, Tillakaratne Dilshan has just completed 8000 runs in ODIs. (Scorecard)


2153 hrs (IST): Jadeja getting settled into a proper line and length. Both batsmen playing him watchfully.


2147 hrs (IST): Shadows are creeping on to the ground. India searching for that elusive wicket before the end of play.


2143 hrs (IST): Petersen and Smith playing more defensively as the end of play nears. Jadeja getting some turn.


2135 hrs (IST): The extra half-hour has been taken and Ravindra Jadeja comes on to bowl.


2117 hrs (IST): Shami trying some short balls but Smith and Petersen equal to the task as they negotiate him with ease.


2105 hrs (IST): Shami putting in that extra effort but Petersen is content to let it go harmlessly.

2058 hrs (IST): A change in the bowling as Ishant Sharma replaces Zaheer Khan. Hashim Amla is seen padded up, so not clear if South Africa will use a nightwatchman if a wicket falls.


2054 hrs (IST): Smith and Petersen may be playing for stumps, but they are still looking to score as many runs as possible before close of play.

2047 hrs (IST): Both Smith and Petersen looking confident. They are middling the ball well and neither Zaheer nor Shami look threatening at the moment.


2039 hrs (IST): The South African openers have clearly come out in a positive frame of mind and a flurry of boundaries from both Smith and Petersen indicate they are getting a move on.


2036 hrs (IST): The light is much better compared to the first day. The sun is shining brightly in the final hour of the day's play.


2032 hrs (IST): Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen come out to open the innings. Zaheer Khan runs in with three slips for Smith.


2020 hrs (IST): WICKET and end of India's innings on 334. Morkel makes Shami (1) edge to Smith as the Indian innings folds. Rahane at the other end remains stranded on 51 - a mature innings despite being struck twice on the body by Steyn (6/100). While Morkel claimed three, it was Steyn's spell that ripped apart India's innings -

the last five wickets fell with the tourists adding just 14 runs.

2012 hrs (IST): Half-century for Rahane! The batsman completes his maiden fifty and fights a lone battle for India even as the team's last four wickets fell for just 10 runs.

Good news for Indian fans: This is the highest total now for India-SA contests at Durban. The previous best was when the hosts scored 328 in 2006.

2008 hrs (IST): WICKET! They are walking back in a line with Steyn wrecking Indian tail. This time, it's Ishant who falls despite hitting the bowler for a boundary the minute he walked in.

2003 hrs (IST):  WICKET! And that's a fifer for Dale Steyn. Zaheer Khan

ungainly swing/heave is unsuccessful and he edges the ball high up for a jumping de Villiers. Looks like Rahane may run out of partners with just one run left for his fifty. (India 322/8)

1959 hrs (IST):WICKET! Ravindra Jadeja (0) caught in the slips by Jacques Kallis who has now completed 200 catches in the longest format of the game. The batsman went forward to JP Duminy's spin only to offer the outside-edge of his bat.

1950 hrs (IST): WICKET! Steyn returns with a bang. Removes Dhoni (24) who looked to play his way through covers only to edge to Smith in the slips, becoming the fourth victim of the bowler.

(India 320/6)

1945 hrs (IST): Check out

NDTV Cricket's Twitter account for even quicker updates -

#INDvsSA 2nd Test, Day 2: Rahane and Dhoni complete 50-run partnership for 6th wicket. (Ind: 315/5) http://t.co/O8VTa3CubI

- CricketNDTV (@CricketNDTV) December 27, 2013

1927 hrs (IST): India go past 300-run mark. Although far, far away from the highest Test score here - 658/9 decl. by hosts against West Indies in 2003, the tourists have shown fighting spirit.

1920 hrs (IST): Rahane has been a lot more positive early into the final session of the day. He has already hit three more fours in this session and is using his front-foot to good effect.

1905 hrs (IST):Dhoni off the mark. Indian skipper played five deliveries to score his first runs. Can he play the long knock here? He scored 35 and 21 batting at the same position - No. 7 - in the last Test that India played here, in 2010. In that match, which India won by 87 runs, India scored 205 and 228 against South Africa's 131 and 215. Different tour, different times, different type of track and completely different teammates now. What Dhoni doesn't want to do today is what he did the last time he batted here - looking to hit Steyn through covers, he sliced the ball up for Petersen. His knock which had three fours and a six, coming to an abrupt end.

1900 hrs (IST): Play resumes with a boundary. Rahane pulls Petersen through mid-wicket. Auspicious start as India look to mount a challenging total.

1842 hrs (IST): End of second session. India 271/5 against South Africa (90/4 in two and a half hour long session) with Ajinkya Rahane (23) and MS Dhoni (0) in the middle. The hosts seize initiative in the session after rain washed out first session.

There are 41 overs still scheduled to be bowled in the day.

1831 hrs (IST): WICKET! Kohli's splendid fight is brought to an end by Morkel - his second wicket of the innings. The batsman was well-set on 46 but much like Vijay, edged a ball going down the leg-side where a diving de Villiers completed yet another stunning catch. (

India: 265/5)

1820 hrs (IST): Although it continues to be bright here in Durban after a wet morning, here's a quick look at the

weather: It is currently 28C with intermittent clouds and wind speeds of 11 kph.

1805 hrs (IST): South Africa may be over-using the short-pitched delivery as Kohli has now slapped a couple of fours on the back-foot. The giant screen here has shown the replays and each of them have looked exquisite - Kohli's eyes lighting up and his feet rocking back to let his arms flow in and get the bat to whack the ball from its sweet-spot.


what a sumptuous pull shot from kohli. front of square to steyn from round the wicket.

- Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 27, 2013

1750 hrs (IST): Rahane and Kohli are subjected to some good short-pitched bowling by Dale Steyn, but both stand firm as they look to rebuild India's innings.

1740 hrs (IST): While Rahane has had his moments - taking his eyes off the ball and getting smacked on his helmet by Steyn, for one - Kohli at the other end is batting like India never lost any wickets today. Has pulled and driven with ease and is batting on 28 with three boundaries.

(India: 234/4)

1725 hrs (IST): This is a good chance for Ajinkya Rahane to prove himself. The 25-year-old scored 47 and 15 in the >Jo'burg Test

. With all eyes on - and strategies against  - Kohli, Rahane can go the distance undetected till his knock takes dangerous proportions.

1710 hrs (IST): Although Robin Petersen's spin has been brought in by Proteas - a relief of sorts for Indian batsmen, it will be the contest between

Kohli and Steyn that fans will watch out for eagerly. After all, the Indian batsman had retorted to Steyn before the tour and said his team was not scared of anyone. (Read the >full report here


1654 hrs (IST): India complete 200 runs in the first innings but Indian fans are not cheering as loudly as they were just minutes ago. Steyn's strikes has left the tourists quite shaken. The bowler himself may have slightly strained his forearm in his fervent celebrations only to eventually walk nonchalantly towards Alan Donald - SA's bowling coach - and give him a high-five.

1648 hrs (IST):

Double blow! Murali Vijay's solid knock stops three short of what would have been a well-deserved century. He is caught-behind by AB de Villiers, edging a ball that was going down the leg-side.

Steyn on fire as he makes a mess of Rohit Sharma's stumps in the very next over.

1641 hrs (IST): Dale Steyn's celebration after claiming Pujara clearly showed how much it meant to him. Not used to being blunted, Steyn was even replaced at the top of the list of best Test bowlers. The now No. 2 bowler cannot ever be faulted for his efforts though.

Virat Kohli, meanwhile, has joined Vijay in the middle.

1636 hrs (IST): WICKET! Steyn strikes at long last (after 69.2 overs in which he remained wicket-less) and it's Pujara (70) who has to make the long way back. A lapse in concentration as the well-set batsman offers a tame outside-edge to wicket-keeper de Villiers.

(India 198/2)

1635 hrs (IST): Also check out latest scores from >Pakistan's fifth ODI clash against Sri Lanka

in Abu Dhabi.

1625 hrs (IST): Pujara flicks to take two runs. He completes a

150-run stand for the second wicket with Vijay at the other end and his luck begins to shine as well. He edges immediately after only to be

dropped by Graeme Smith in a widish third slip area. Steyn - the bowler - clearly unimpressed with his skipper's late reaction.

1618 hrs (IST): Milestone approaching - Murali Vijay, who scored 91 on Thursday, has added four more to his total. This will be his fourth century, if he reaches it as Morkel tries to bounce his way to intimidate him. Has done well so far to calmly duck under it.

1615 hrs (IST): Dale Steyn has been given the ball from the other end. After going wicket-less in the second innings of the Jo-burg Test, he has been made to toil so far, here as well. For someone who has 341 wickets from 68 matches, Steyn's 1/61 and 0/104 from the 1st Test and 0/53 till now in Durban has surprised many.

1610 hrs (IST): Morne Morkel bowls the first over of the day, to Cheteshwar Pujara who drives the fifth delivery to the boundary rope. The outfield has clearly slowed down a bit but the ball still manages to kiss the rope. Morkel had earlier claimed the only Indian wicket to fall - Shikhar Dhawan on 29 on Thursday.

Pitch on Day 2: The covers on top of the playing track were drenched till a while back but have been off for a while now. The sun has had some time shining on the pitch and even though there is some moisture, it is expected to dry out by the time players come on. Slight grass on the track remains.

It is now sunny in Durban. The Test may still recover lost time assuming it continues to be bright here.

So far, 48 overs have been lost to bad light and rain.

Play to resume: Day 2 of the second Test between South Africa and India will resume at 1610 hrs (IST), which is 20 minutes from now. Play has been extended by an hour to partially make up for the lost time and will go on till 2130 (IST). The second session will end at 1840 hrs (IST).

Good news: Even as players take lunch, the covers are being taken off with a careful look skywards. Rain has become a lot lighter with specs of blue now peeping through the grey clouds.

While predicting weather may be a challenge, predicting how your heroes will perform may not be.


NDTV's Cricket Predictor game yet?

Lunch: An entire session gets washed out as teams take early lunch. And the following image shows why things are not expected to improve either, at least for some time. Satellite image of Durban is compared with that of Melbourne (venue for Ashes' 4th Test) today, at 1445 hrs (IST). Grey cover on the left appear clearly ominous.

Update: Reports from the middle suggest lunch may be taken in the next 15 minutes. That would be 1500 hrs (IST). Confirmation awaited though.

Edit: Confirmed

It may be a rather short 2-Test series but there have been several highlights from it already and a few more are expected here in Durban. Virat Kohli jumped nine places to take the 11th spot in rankings for Test batsmen. For the hosts, Vernon Philander sped past teammate Dale Steyn to become the best Test bowler. Kallis announced his retirement and needs one more to complete 200 catches, eight more to 300 Test wickets and one six for 100 sixes. If numbers are indications of a cricketer's prowess, watch out for several sparkling tales.

The Indian cricketers don't seem to mind the weather much as long as it allows for some football - yes, their other favourite game!

Durban is not known to have rains which wash out an entire day of cricket. In fact, the last time it happened was way back in 2000 when 4th day's play between South Africa and Sri Lanka was called off without a ball being bowled.

Rain gets heavier:

It was drizzling consistently but for the first time, it has become a bit heavy. There is a small group of hopeful fans in the stands but the gloomy weather seems to be affecting them as much as the man on the right. It would be a real shame if rain dampens Jacques Kallis' farewell especially after all the ovations and tributes to him.

Back to Durban and India's otherwise fine showing in the Test series so far may have a small blemish named Shikhar Dhawan.

Former South Africa batting specialist Daryll Cullinan has called him a 'flat-track bully'. >Find out why


Bright and sunny in Melbourne: The fourth

Ashes Test seems to be having a wonderful time with the summer sun Down Under, though. England bowlers bullied Aussies and showed some signs of life earlier today. Check out >scorecard

and the >match report here


NEWS from Kingsmead is that we will have a delayed start due to overcast conditions. Second day's play was scheduled to start at 1300 IST.

Covers were taken off but they were brought back on once again. Grey clouds here continue to persist and even a slight downpour may further delay cricketing action. Weather forecast for the entire week does not auger too well. This is what >www.wunderground.com



Bright and sunny in Melbourne: The fourth Ashes Test seems to be having a wonderful time with the summer sun Down Under, though. England bowlers bullied Aussies and showed some signs on life earlier today. Check out scorecard and the match report here.

Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara shared an unbeaten century partnership before bad light stopped play on the first day of the second and final Test against India at Kingsmead on Thursday.

India were 181 for one when the day's play was brought to a premature end eight overs after tea.

Vijay (91 not out) and Pujara (58 not out) put on 140 for the second wicket as South Africa's bowlers toiled on an unresponsive pitch after Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss.

It was an inauspicious opening day for world champions South Africa after captain Graeme Smith said the team were determined to put in a good performance to mark star all-rounder Jacques Kallis' last Test. (Read full Day 1 report)

Two to tango, Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay make merry

India rode on a second wicket unbroken partnership of 140 on day one of the second Test in Durban on Thursday. Vijay was nine runs short of his fourth Test century, while Pujara (58) looked good for back-to-back Test hundreds in South Africa when bad light stopped play. Vijay and Pujara were involved in several statistical highlights as follows:

# Cheteshwar Pujara took his run-aggregate in Tests this year to 785 at an average of 87.22, including three centuries and three fifties - the highest by an Indian player in 2013.

# With 236 runs at an average of 118.00 in three innings, Pujara is the top run-scorer in the present series.

# Vijay's aforesaid innings is his highest away from home, outstripping the 58 vs Sri Lanka at Colombo (SSC) in July 2008.

# Vijay's second fifty away from home is his fourth in Tests. (Read more stats)

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