Harbhajan's four wickets give India sight of series win

South Africa 305 & 172-5
India 411

Harbhajan Singh, the Indian off-spinner, ran through the South African top order to give his side a chance of a series victory on the fourth day of the second Test here yesterday.

Harbhajan Singh, the Indian off-spinner, ran through the South African top order to give his side a chance of a series victory on the fourth day of the second Test here yesterday.

Harbhajan grabbed the first four wickets, including the captain, Graeme Smith, for 71, as the tourists were reduced to 172 for 5 in their second innings on a slow Eden Gardens pitch. which was starting to turn considerably. The first-innings centurion Jacques Kallis kept South African hopes alive with an unbeaten 52, but the tourists were just 66 ahead when bad light stopped play. Anil Kumble added the wicket of Boeta Dippenaar, moving within two wickets of Kapil Dev's Indian record of 434 Test victims.

South Africa had started their reply with Smith and Andrew Hall having little trouble against the left-arm seamers Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan. The batsmen looked more tentative against the spinners, Kumble and Harbhajan, but it took a freak dismissal for India to make their first breakthrough. Harbhajan had Hall caught behind for 21 after the batsman gloved an attempted sweep on to his helmet.

Earlier, India were all out for 411 on the stroke of lunch. The wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik recorded a career-best 46, including six fours. The fast bowler Makhaya Ntini finished with figures of 4 for 112 as the hosts added 52 to their overnight 359 for 6.

"The sooner we can bowl them out the better," said the India coach, John Wright. "The first session tomorrow will be really important. If South Africa are going to play for time, they'll have to bat really well."

Sourav Ganguly, the India captain, was fined 30 per cent of his match fee for disputing an umpiring decision.

* The former Pakistan captain, Rashid Latif, was banned from first-class cricket for six months yesterday by the Pakistan Cricket Board for declaring his side's innings and conceding a domestic match while captaining Karachi. The 36-year-old, who has played 37 Tests and 166 one-day internationals, captained Pakistan until November 2003 and is now out of contention for the Test series in Australia starting this month and next year's tours of India and West Indies.

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