An unbeaten century from Daryll Cullinan kept South Africa alive long enough for the weather to intervene and allow them to escape with a draw in the third and final Test against India in Johannesburg yesterday and win the series 2-0.
Cullinan finished on 122 not out, scored off 194 balls and including 15 fours and a six as South Africa struggled to 228 for 8 in their second innings. He received invaluable support from the all-rounder Lance Klusener, who scored 49 in an eighth-wicket partnership of 127. Cullinan's third Test century saved his team when they had looked to be heading for defeat after being set 356 to win.
South Africa collapsed to 76 for 5 before a violent rainstorm sent the teams back to the pavilion for three hours. When they re-emerged, the home side was quickly plunged to 95 for 7. However, in a nail-biting last hour Cullinan and Klusener did enough to secure a draw.
South Africa's captain, Hansie Cronje, compared Cullinan's match saving innings with Mike Atherton's 10-hour 185 not out on the same ground last year, which saved the second Test for England. "Daryll's knock was every bit as good as Mike's and I know exactly how Sachin [Tendulkar, India's captain] must have felt because we were frustrated in the same way against England," he said.
India's Saurav Ganguly and their substitute fielder, Pankaj Dharmani, are to be charged with bringing the game into disrepute and intimidating the umpire, Peter Willey, during the match.
Final day, India won toss
INDIA - First Innings 410 (R S Dravid 148, S Ganguly 73)
SOUTH AFRICA - First Innings 321 (S M Pollock 79; J Srinath 5-104)
INDIA - Second Innings 266-8 dec (R S Dravid 81, S Ganguly 60, N R Mongia 50)
SOUTH AFRICA - Second Innings
G Kirsten c Rathore b Prasad 1
A M Bacher b Prasad 23
D J Cullinan not out 122
*W J Cronje run out 6
B M McMillan c Sub b Srinath 2
S M Pollock b Srinath 0
D J Richardson c Azharuddin b Kumble 7
L Klusener c Dravid b Kumble 9
A A Donald not out 0
Extras (lb13 b1 nb1) 15
Total (for 8) 228
Fall (cont): 2-4 3-49 4-71 5-76 6-78 7-95 8-222.
Bowling: Srinath 24-6-89-2 (nb1); Prasad 15-1-59-2; Kumble 23-7-40-3; Ganesh 2-0-8-0; Tendulkar 2-0-18-0; Ganguly 2-2-0-0.
First Test (Durban): South Africa won by 328 runs.
Second Test (Cape Town): South Africa won by 282 runs.
SOUTH AFRICA WIN SERIES 2-0.