South Africa shaken by Sehwag's assault

South Africa 296 India 342-5
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The Independent Online

South Africa rallied late in the day yesterday after centuries from Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar looked like destroying their chances of a first series victory in India for a decade.

Sehwag tore into the South African attack in the second and final Test with 165 from 174 balls while Tendulkar (106) extended his world record of Test centuries to 47. The pair added 249 for the third wicket as India cruised to 331 for 2 at one stage before South Africa lifted their tempo in similar fashion to their first Test performance to trigger an Indian collapse in the final session.

India lost both the century-makers and Subramaniam Badrinath (1) in the space of four runs to finish the day on 342 for 5 in reply to 296.

South Africa, who won the first Test by an innings, need to win the series to reclaim the world No 1 ranking from India.

Sehwag recorded his 19th Test century and the second on the trot as he lashed 23 fours and two sixes in an audacious display of strokeplay.

"I think it is unsettling to everybody. The fact that he scores very quickly and obviously he gets the crowd behind him, all of that is unsettling," said the South African Corrie van Zyl. "That is the time when you have got to stick to game plans and get back to the basics. I thought sometimes we didn't do that and that is the strength of Sehwag."

Sehwag was dropped by J P Duminy at slip on 47 and stand-in wicketkeeper A B de Villiers missed a stumping on 129 before he was caught at short cover off Duminy in the only over the part-time spinner bowled. Tendulkar was caught by Jacques Kallis at slip off Harris and Dale Steyn fired out Badrinath.

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