Alviro, Amla tons take SA to 228/2 at tea

Debutant Alviro Petersen and in-form Hashim Amla struck fluent tons as South Africa reached 228 for two at tea on the opening day of their second Test.

updated: February 14, 2010 09:50 IST
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Debutant Alviro Petersen and in-form Hashim Amla struck fluent centuries as South Africa reached 228 for two at tea on the opening day of their second and final Test against India at Eden Gardens here on Sunday.

At tea on day one, Amla was unbeaten on 114 (164 balls, 14x4, 1x6), while Jacques Kallis was yet to open his account having faced three balls. Petersen departed at exactly 100, edging a Zaheer Khan delivery to Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the wickets.

Petersen, who made a Test debut after becoming the highest run scorer in the history of South Africa's four-day domestic competition last season with 1376 runs to his credit, made it memorable with a century in his first Test.

The right-handed opener, who replaced the injured Mark Boucher, got out 3.2 overs before tea. Zaheer Khan was the pick of Indian bowlers in an otherwise lackluster day for the hosts with figures of 2/69.

After being dropped by VVS Laxman at the first slip on 60 off the bowling of Harbhajan Singh, Amla made hay under a hazy sun as he carried on from his unbeaten 253 from in the first Test to notch up one more Test century -- his ninth.

Amla played a perfect ally to the rookie Petersen as the duo made Indian bowlers sweat stitching together a 209-run partnership for the second wicket.

Earlier, South Africa faced an early jolt when Zaheer Khan castled Smith (4) at the score of nine in the third over of the innings.

The Proteas skipper, who opted to play despite a fractured left little finger, was castled by a beautifully in-swinging Zaheer delivery that crashed his defence to uproot the off-stump.

From there on, Amla and Petersen took the attack to the Indian bowling camp, especially a lackluster Ishant Sharma forcing Dhoni to bring on the spinning duo of Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra in rotation.

Zaheer tightened things up at one end but Sharma failed to support him, conceding 40 runs from his first spell of eight overs with both Petersen and Amla milking the field with ease.

Having survived a couple of close calls especially one from leggie Amit Mishra, Petersen went on to score his maiden half-century from 55 balls.

Zaheer once again gave the breakthrough when he dismissed Petersen, who edged to the slip for Dhoni to pouch on it. Earlier, South Africa, 1-0 up in the two-Test series, won the toss and elected to bat in the Test.

Both the teams made one change. While India brought on VVS Laxman in place of Wridhhiman Saha, South Africa picked Petersen in place of Mark Boucher, who has developed back spasm.