South Africa bowled out for 265

Ishant Sharma and Harbhajan Singh lead India charge to restrict South Africa for 265 at stumps on the opening day of the final Test on Friday.

updated: April 12, 2008 15:13 IST
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New Delhi:

Spinner Harbhajan Singh and pace bowler Ishant Sharma have shared six wickets as India wrested control of the deciding third Test away from South Africa on day one.

India bowled South Africa out for 265 on Friday, after the tourists were at one stage 152-1 and in firm control of the match approaching tea.

Harbhajan Singh (3-52) and Sharma (3-53) brought India back into the game, heightening its chances of winning the final test to square the series. However the pitch was already exhibiting uneven bounce, and India will face a challenge on Saturday to match South Africa's first innings total.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith (69), Hashim Amla (51) and Jacques Kallis (1) fell in the space of 27 deliveries as South Africa moved to 161-4 after two sessions. Ashwell Prince (10) and AB de Villiers (3) were the not-out batsmen.

South Africa were 80-1 at lunch, needing only a draw to win the series. It was an important toss to win, with South Africa avoiding having to bat last on a pitch expected to strongly assist spinners as the match proceeds.

The South African openers, Graeme Smith and McKenzie, played cautiously to give the visitors a solid start before Chawla got rid of McKenzie with a gem of a flighted delivery and provided the much-needed breakthough.

Neil McKenzie (36) was the only batsman to fall in the first session, stumped by India's stand-in skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in leg-spinner Piyush Chawla's first over after he played down the wrong line when stepping out for an aggressive shot.

Earlier, Anil Kumble was ruled out of the final Test because of a groin injury.

The 37-year-old leg-spinner, India's most successful bowler, failed to recover from the injury, leaving one-day captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to lead the team for the first time in Tests.

India included leg-spinner Piyush Chawla in place of Kumble and recalled fit-again paceman Ishant Sharma and batsman Yuvraj Singh.

The tourists lead 1-0 after crushing India by an innings and 90 runs on a lively pitch in the second Test in Ahmedabad, a victory that brought them close to claiming an Asian treble after wins in Pakistan in November last year and Bangladesh last month.


India: Wasim Jaffer, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, Vangipurappu Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Dhoni (captain), Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Neil McKenzie, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher, Morne Morkel, Paul Harris, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini.