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Sight Screen

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Overs 11-20

36 runs, the wicket of the potentially dangerous Andrew Hall, and the powerplays over and done with -- you would have to say India for the second successive 10 over phase has the edge on the opposition.
And that has been thanks largely to impressive first spells by the two opening seamers in conditions that, outside of the relative slowness of the deck, didn’t really favor them.
Agarkar in particular – 6-0-15-0 -- created the pressure his partner capitalized on at the other end; 28 dot balls to six singles and two fours indicative of his control today. The right armer was particularly impressive against Hall – keeping it just short and on the stumps all the time.
Pathan (6-1-23-3) gave away more four balls than he might have liked – but on the day, it will likely be forgiven for the three strikes, and the otherwise immaculate control (29 dot balls, 1 single, 1 two – against five fours, all but one gift-wrapped).
Harbhajan was brought on way earlier than I thought he would be – but he’s getting turn from ball one; very unlucky not to get Ashwell Prince LBW in the first over. Thanks to the short square leg in place, took out the danger man, Andrew Hall, with one that turned from off and which the batsman helpfully pushed into that close fielder’s hand.
India's biggest advantage here is the presence of five regular bowlers -- which means SA cannot really look forward to the freebies of SRT-VS-YS, unless Dravid (whose field setting and captaincy in the first game seemed a touch below par, but who is back here on song) decides to slow the pace down even further.
For South Africa, the classic dilemma -- they have a target in mind, but the fall of wickets and the bowling thus far just not letting them slip the reins.


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