India feel the heat

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The Independent Online
South Africa look set to square their three-Test series with India in Calcutta today, after the host nation lost four cheap wickets in their second innings on the fourth day yesterday.

India finished on 59 for four, having been set a formidable victory target of 467 by the South Africans, who lost the first Test at Ahmedabad last week by 64 runs.

The fourth day belonged to South Africa. They hammered the Indian bowlers, with the opener Gary Kirsten (133) scoring his second century of the match. With Daryll Cullinan hitting 153 not out, including 15 fours and a six, in six hours, Hansie Cronje declared at 367 for three just before tea.

History was against India from the start - only two sides have ever scored more than 400 runs in the fourth innings to win a Test. And their task became even more difficult when they lost their top four batsmen with just 28 runs on the board.

Lance Klusener took three of them, but the prized scalp went to the off- spinner Pat Symcox, who dismissed Sachin Tendulkar in his first over for just two. It was left to Tendulkar's predecessor as captain, Mohammed Azharuddin, who scored the fourth-fastest century in Test cricket in the first innings, to stop the rot. He was on 25 when poor light ended the day's play seven minutes early.

Meanwhile New Zealand made a solid start to their bid to save the second Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi after conceding a 181-run first- innings lead. Bryan Young and Justin Vaughan survived numerous leg before appeals in the closing session to steer their side - 1-0 up in the two- Test series - to 69 without loss.

Earlier in an absorbing third day, Pakistan collapsed after looking set for a huge total, losing their last six wickets for 54 in a total of 430. Much tighter New Zealand bowling brought wickets at regular intervals, after Chris Cairns had removed Saeed Anwar for 149.

Cairns, the Nottinghamshire all-rounder, was by far the most dangerous, if most expensive, New Zealand bowler. He finished with five for 137 off 30.4 overs, but could face disciplinary action for showing dissent after an appeal against Salim Malik was turned down by the umpire Javed Akhtar.

On the previous day Pakistan's Ijaz Ahmed had been fined half his match fee after Akhtar pronounced him leg before for 125. Ijaz waved his bat at the umpire in an attempt to claim that the ball had touched it before hitting his pad.