Dravid rescues Indian innings: Cricket

India 233-3 v South Africa
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An unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 133 between Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly yesterday rescued India from a abjectly slow start to the third and final Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

The pair took India from 100 for 3 in mid-afternoon to 233 for 3 at the close. Dravid was the more circumspect, reaching his 50 off 133 balls. By contrast, Ganguly hit 46 of his first 50 in boundaries.

India scored just 117 runs in the first two sessions and seemed to be settling for grinding out a draw after losing the first two Tests. The opening pair Nayan Mongia and Vikram Rathore had crawled to 25 from 22 overs against an off-target seam attack before the introduction of spin brought the breakthrough. Paul Adams had Rathore caught behind with his first ball. Mongia fell to Allan Donald after lunch at 46 for 2, while Sachin Tendulkar, the captain, raised the strike rate but was caught in the slips from Hansie Cronje's fourth delivery.

(First day, India won toss)

INDIA - First Innings

V C Rathore c Richardson b Adams 13

N Mongia b Donald 21

R S Dravid not out 81

*S R Tendulkar c McMillan b Cronje 35

S Ganguly not out 68

Extras (lb4 w4 nb7) 15

Total (for 3, 90 overs) 233

Fall: 1-25 2-46 3-100.

To bat: M Azharuddin, V V S Laxman, A Kumble, J Srinath, D Ganesh, B K V Prasad.

Bowling (to date): Donald 18.1-6-44-1 (w2); Pollock 19-7-38-0 (nb5); McMillan 14.5-4-34-0; Klusener 16-4-47-0 (nb2 w2); Adams 14-4-47-1; Cronje 8-4-19-1

SOUTH AFRICA: G Kirsten, A C Hudson, A M Bacher, D J Cullinan, *W J Cronje, B M McMillan, S M Pollock, D J Richardson, L Klusener, A A Donald, P Adams.