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Ojha spells doom for SA

India A bowlers take 17 wickets as the hosts decimate South Africa A by an innings and 242 runs to wrap up the four-day encounter within three days, reports Anam Arsalan.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2007 01:25 IST
Anam Arsalan

India A bowlers took as many as seventeen wickets on Saturday as the hosts decimated South Africa A by an innings and 242 runs to wrap up the four-day encounter within three days at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

On a wicket that the South Africa A bowlers found unproductive, the hosts' bowlers reaped a rich harvest. Leading the pack was left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha with seven scalps - two in the first innings and five later when the tourists were following-on.

Skipper Mohammad Kaif was at the forefront of action, backing his bowlers to the hilt by latching on to four catches at first slip. Wearing a triumphant look, Kaif attributed the result to team effort. "We batted well and then our bowlers put up a good show. Not to forget the catches we took."

Commencing at their overnight 93-2, South Africa A were in trouble straight away. Morne van Wyk was the first to depart off a seaming delivery by Ishant Sharma. Van Wyk's 67 was the highest score for the tourists. He could have been dismissed for 64 but was let off by Pankaj Singh.

The opener's wicket had a cascading effect and the batsmen to follow succumbed meekly. Sharma struck again when he had Ashwell Prince caught behind by wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel for four with the team total at 134-4.

Skipper Boeta Dippenaar, too, did not last long and he fell to the leg-spin of Amit Mishra for 26. Continuing with the procession, Justin Ontong was trapped by Ojha while Thami Tsolekile fell victim to Mishra before he could open his account.

Ontong redeemed himself in the second essay and justified his 'Test batsman' status by providing some resistance with an unbeaten 63 but the effort came a little too late. Mishra and Ojha then joined hands to clean up the South African tail of Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt and Friedel de Wet. With just 145-9 on the board at 11 am, things looked gloomy for the tourists as they followed-on.

Van Wyk and Werner Coetsee commenced their second innings looking to restore lost pride, but the Indian bowlers lost little time to stamp their superiority all over again. Ojha struck early and had van Wyk caught behind for 12. Coetsee fell in quick succession, trapped leg before to Pankaj Singh's straight ball.

Hashim Amla, who had stated before the match that he was ready to face the Indian spinners, was made to eat his words. The bearded South African had no clue to Ojha's left-arm spin and was cleaned up for seven. The team's read a poor 28-3.

After sitting out in the first innings due to injury, Alviro Petersen came in at number four but failed to stem the rot, falling leg before to Ishant Sharma.

Kaif's ploy to employ spinners and seamers in shorts spells paid off as wickets kept falling at regular intervals.

Ontong and Tsolekile came up with a final bout of resistance, the duo displaying some aggressive stroke-play to delay the inevitable.
Ontong ultimately succumbed to Ojha for 36 with the score at 162-7.

With just the tail separating them from victory, Ojha and Mishra bowled in tandem to complete the last rites after the teams agreed to extend play by half hour to prevent proceedings from spilling over to Sunday.