Cricket: Wessels secures historic victory: South Africa clinch first Test win for 22 years

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India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212 and 215

South Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .275 and 155-1

South Africa win by 9 wickets

KEPLER WESSELS, the South African captain, led his team to their first Test victory since 1970, despite a fighting century from India's Kapil Dev in Port Elizabeth yesterday.

Wessels made an unbeaten 95 as South Africa, playing their first full series after two decades of international isolation, comfortably won the third Test by nine wickets with a day to spare to go 1-0 up in the four-match series. Their last Test victory came on the same ground when they beat Bill Lawry's Australia by 323 runs.

They had two dominant players in the match - Hansie Cronje, whose maiden Test century in the first innings laid the foundations of victory, and the fast bowler Allan Donald, who took 7 for 84 in the second innings, to give him 12 wickets in the Test. 'Allan was superb, Hansie Cronje batted very well, but in the end it was a great effort by the whole team,' Wessels said. 'We lost in the West Indies after being so near to victory, so it is great we did not mess it up this time.'

South Africa's coach, Mike Procter, was effusive in his praise of Donald. 'He is easily one of the best fast bowlers in the world. It takes guts and efforts to take 12 wickets. Allan is a great physical specimen and a top quality bowler,' he said.

Donald thanked the Indian batsmen. 'They tend to play their shots too early which obviously gives the bowler more chance,' he said. Mohammad Azharuddin, India's captain, agreed and promised a major rethink before the final Test, in Cape Town this weekend, and the forthcoming series against England.

'South Africa were superior in all departments and deserved to win,' he said. 'But I must add that a team that bats as badly as we did cannot hope to do well. We will have to do a lot of thinking and planning if we are to perform better in future.'

Azharuddin's chief rival for the captaincy, the veteran Kapil Dev, was in inspirational form in leading yesterday's rearguard action. He began from a highly unpromising position, with India eight runs ahead with only four second-innings wickets left. The 33-year-old Kapil, playing in his 119th Test, battled away for four hours, striking 14 fours and a six on his way to his eighth Test century, despite badly bruised knuckles.

Kapil was joined in the last- ditch effort by Manoj Prabhakar, Kiran More and Anil Kumble who each scored 17 in partnerships of 57, 32 and 77. Kapil's contribution of 129 meant South Africa had to chase 152 to win in three hours if they wanted to avoid the chance of the weather intervening on the fifth and final day. The time equation helped raise the tension dramatically - in the end just seven minutes of play remained when South Africa won.

The one down side was the reporting of Prabhakar for dissent to the match referee, Mike Smith. Prabhakar was given out caught behind off Donald, but stood his ground, claiming he had hit his foot rather than the ball - a view which television replays tended to support. He was reported by the umpire, Wilf Diedrichs, and summoned to a meeting with Smith, Diedrichs and his manager, Amrit Mathur, where he was fined 10 per cent of his match fee - 1,000 rupees (approximately pounds 24).

But the day belonged to Donald, who took all four wickets to fall to carry his match analysis to 12 for 139, and then to Wessels who, in addition to his 95, had the satisfaction of striking the winning run off his opposite number.

(South Africa won toss)

INDIA - First Innings 212 (M Azharuddin 60; A A Donald 5-55).

SOUTH AFRICA - First Innings 275 (W J Cronje 135, A Hudson 52).

INDIA - Second Innings

(Overnight: 71 for 6)

Kapil Dev c McMillan b Donald . . . . . . . . . . 129

M Prabhakar c Richardson b Donald . . . . . . . . .17

K S More b Donald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

A Kumble c Richardson b Donald . . . . . . . . . . 17

Venkatapathy Raju not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Extras (lb4 nb3 w1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215

Fall: 1-1 2-10 3-11 4-20 5-27 6-31 7-88 8-120 9-197.

Bowling: Donald 28-4-84-7; Schultz 16-5-37-2; McMillan 12-2-30-1; Matthews 9-1-43-0; Henry

8-2-17-0.

SOUTH AFRICA - Second Innings

* K C Wessels not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

A C Hudson c Azharuddin b Tendulkar. . . . . . . . 33

W J Cronje not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Extras (b8 lb3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Total (for 1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .155

Fall: 1-98.

Did not bat: P N Kirsten, B M McMillan, J N Rhodes, D J Richardson, O Henry, C Matthews, A A Donald, B N Schultz.

Bowling: Kapil Dev 5-1-9-0; Prabhakar 5-2-7-0; Raju 18-5-50-0; Kumble 20-5-65-0; Tendulkar 3-0-9-1; Azharuddin 0.1-0-4-0.

Umpires: D Shepherd (Eng); R Koertzen and W Diedricks (SA).

South Africa won by nine wickets and lead four- match series 1-0.

Man of the match: A A Donald.

First Test: Durban: drawn. Second Test: Johannesburg: drawn. Fourth Test: Cape Town, 2-6 January.

(Photograph omitted)

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