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Sight Screen

Monday, November 28, 2005

Overs 21-30

The progression thus far, in five over bits, has been 19/1, 41/2, 65/2, 76/2, 92/3 and, at the end of 30, 109/3 (39 runs and a wicket in the 10 over spell)
Several factors have contributed: The early strikes by Pathan; the good comeback by Agarkar who, in his third try, kept it simple, bowled wicket to wicket (on the occasions when he strayed, Yuvraj Singh nullified the damage with some brilliant work at point) produced a spell of 4-1-8-0; good captaincy to put 6 in the ring and choke down the singles; and yet another immaculate spell by Harbhajan Singh.
Singh produced the breakthrough in the 21st, when extra loop produced the bigger bounce, and found Ashwell Prince’s top edge on the sweep; Prince, with 26 dot balls in an innings of 9, yet again looked less than the part batting that high up the Proteas order. (At the point of Prince’s departure, Kallis had helped add to the pressure with 40 dot balls out of 58 faced).
The discipline, in the post-15 overs phase, has been immaculate; at the 30 over mark, the Indians have now bowled 91 deliveries without conceding a four.
The last time South Africa were choked in this fashion, in Bangalore, the dusty, spin-friendly track took the blame; this time, the wicket is hard and true and at this point in the game, SA have nothing but their own inadequacies against the slower ball to blame for the position they are in.

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