Chennai Test ends in draw

Neil McKenzie cracked an unbeaten 155 as the first cricket Test between India and South Africa ended in a tame draw on Sunday.

updated: April 15, 2008 12:15 IST
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New Delhi:

South Africa opener Neil McKenzie scored his second century in successive Tests and Hashim Amla narrowly missed his second hundred of the match as the series opener against India ended in a draw.

McKenzie scored an unbeaten 155 and Amla made 81 before South Africa declared its second innings at 331-5 and the teams agreed to an early end with no prospects of a result on Sunday.

South Africa had scored 540 in its first innings and India responded with 627.

Indian off spinner Harbhajan Singh took three for 101 and claimed eight wickets in the match.

The two teams will now travel to Ahmedabad for the second Test.

McKenzie struck 13 fours and one six off 339 deliveries in registering the fourth century of his 45-test career, making up for the disappointment of falling six short of a century in the first innings.

Harbhajan Singh (3-97) dismissed Jacques Kalis (19) and Ashwell Prince (5) in successive overs but his effort came too late in the day.

First signs of Indians resigning to the fate of the inevitable draw came five overs after lunch when Kumble went back to the pavilion after bringing on V V S Laxman to change ends for Harbhajan, leaving ODI captain Dhoni in command.

Harbhajan and Sehwag operated for a better part of the post-lunch session while Mckenzie and Kallis used the situation well for some batting practice.

Hashim Amla fell just short of scoring centuries in both innings of the first Test.

Amla looked capable of becoming the fifth South African to score twin tons, but was out for 81, as the tourists moved to 212-2 at lunch on the final day.

Amla edged India skipper Anil Kumble's delivery into the hands of Rahul Dravid at slip, ending his 3-1/2 hour knock and the second-wicket partnership of 157 with opener Neil McKenzie (88 not out).

Amla, who scored 159 in the first innings, benefited from two dropped catches but failed to convert the chances into a century.

India dropped Amla twice, on 55 and 72.

Sreesanth first failed to hold on to a running attempt at backward square leg after Amla top-edged a sweep against off spinner Harbhajan Singh, who remonstrated angrily with the fielder.

Left-arm paceman Rudra Pratap Singh, without a wicket on his return from a hamstring injury, then dropped a sharp return catch.