Tendulkar's century not enough to avoid innings defeat | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Tendulkar's century not enough to avoid innings defeat

South Africa took a step closer to becoming top team in the world by crushing India by an innings and six runs in the first Test match to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

cricket Updated: Feb 09, 2010 18:45 IST

South Africa took a step closer to becoming top team in the world by crushing India by an innings and six runs in the first Test match to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Sachin Tendulkar's 46th century could only take India to 319 following on after being shot out for 233 in the first innings. The lower order --Harbhajan Singh (39), Wriddhiman Saha (36) and Zaheer Khan (33) -- almost forced South Africa to bat again before the innings folded up in 107.1 overs.

Dale Steyn, who ran through the India's first innings, added three more in the second innings to finish with a match haul of 10 wickets.

Left-arm spinner Paul Harris made good use of the fourth day track to take three wickets.

Resuming at 66/2, the Indian team was loking up to Sachin Tendulkar to steer them through the choppy waters. The master batsman did his bit, but once he was dismissed by Harris, it was a matter of time for South Africa to wrap up the victory.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni soon followed Tendulkar, Harris accounting for him, too. The two added 107 runs for the fifth wicket and with their departure India's hopes of taking the game into the fifth day ended.

Tendulkar, who batted resolutely in the morning session, was out trying to play a sweep shot, the ball struck his pad and dropped on the stumps. He played 179 balls, hitting 13 fours.

Dhoni, who played 112 balls for his 25, with three fours, got an inside edge and was caught at silly point by AB de Villiers.

In fact, it was clear in the morning session that Harris will play an important role as he was getting vicious turn from the bowlers' rough outside the leg stump.

Before lunch, Harris got the wicket of Murali Vijay (32) who top edged a sweep to fine leg to be caught by Morne Morkel.

Subramaniam Badrinath, who had struck a solid 56 in the first innings, was the next to go as he edged to wicket-keeper Mark Boucher off left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell.

It was a clinical performance by South Africa and they were on top right throughout the match.

The only time the visitors were in a spot of bother was on the first morning when they lost their openers with six runs on the board. Jacques Kallis (173) and Hashim Amla (253 not out) bailed them out with a record stand to take South Africa to 558/6.

The quality in the South Arican bowling attack could be seen as Steyn and Morne Morkel shot out India for 233. It was an ideal exhibition of fast bowling on a subcontinental track.

It was positive cricket by South Africa all around, captain Graeme Smith was quick to ask India to bat again, knowing fully well that it would be difficult for a depleted batting side to wipe out 335 runs. And by the end of play Monday, India lost its openers and were battling for survival.

India will have plenty to think before the second Test in Kolkata, starting Sunday. The bowling was innocuous and in batting, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman were sorely missed.