South Africa suffer series setback after collapse against India

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The Independent Online

Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh took three wickets each Sunday as India restricted South Africa to 266 for nine wickets at stumps on the first day of the second test after Hashim Amla and Alviro Petersen had scored hundreds.

Amla (114) and Petersen (100) put on a 209-run stand for the second wicket after South Africa, leading 1-0 in the two-match series and needing only a draw to reclaim top spot in the world test rankings, won the toss to steer the visitors to a solid position.

But the Proteas then lost 8-48 — including seven wickets in the final session — with Harbhajan taking 3-60 and Khan 3-77 as India hit back at Eden Gardens.

Jacques Kallis (10), Ashwell Prince (1), J.P. Duminy (0), A.B. de Villiers (12) and Paul Harris (1) were all dismissed as South Africa slumped from 251-3 to 255-8 in 32 balls.

Petersen is making his debut after wicketkeeper Mark Boucher pulled out before the match due to a back complaint. He became the third South African to score a century in his first test, after Andrew Hudson (vs. West Indies in 1992) and Jacques Rudolph (vs. Bangladesh in 2003). A.B. de Villiers will be behind the stumps for South Africa.

"It is a special feeling, firstly making my test debut and scoring a 100 in Kolkata, which is a fantastic venue — so I am really happy," Petersen said. "The wicket was good for batting and we scored runs on the loose balls. But the Indian bowlers, especially Zaheer Khan, bowled very well after the first session.

"We saw (Ishant) Sharma bowling a decent spell with lost of short balls and that was after 40 overs. The ball was still carrying through. So I would like to see our fast bowlers on that track."

Petersen hit 16 fours in 164 balls. After reaching his century, he lost concentration and was out caught behind off the bowling of Khan to leave South Africa on 218-2 in the 53rd over following the loss of captain Graeme Smith (4) 50 overs earlier.

Smith, who took his part in the match despite breaking a finger in catching practice on Friday, was beaten by a delivery from Khan that seamed off the pitch, passed between bat and pad and dislodged off stump.

Amla, who made an unbeaten 253 in the first test, became Khan's third wicket four overs later when he was caught by Dhoni.