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Sunfoil Test Series: First Match Finishes in a Nerve-Racking Draw; du Plessis’ Outstanding Ton Steals the Show on Day 5

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Sunfoil Test Series: First Match Finishes in a Nerve-Racking Draw; du Plessis’ Outstanding Ton Steals the Show on Day 5

December 23
10:55 2013

saSouth Africa, Monday, December 23 – Final day of the Sunfoil Test Series was full of ecstasy and enclosed superb performances by both India and South Africa. Each single of the five-day test match at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, hid something interesting, which took the match to a thrilling finish. The first test match series ended in a nerve-racking draw, bringing soothing and disappointment factor all together for both guest and the host.

In response to India’s minimal total of 280 runs, South Africa collapsed at 244 runs during the first innings. In the second innings, Indian squad, with mutual efforts of all players, successfully put a total of 421 runs on the board. Appearing almost as a winner, it played perfectly well on third and fourth day. Cheteshwar Pujara hit an astounding century (153 runs). Virat Kohli, emerging as a shining future for Indian cricket, struck an innings of 96 runs before succumbing to JP Duminy. Apart from these two youngsters, none played in an impressing ways, but Skipper M S Dhoni’s and Zaheer Khan’s knock of 29 apiece helped India to put a fighting total of over 400 runs in front of South Africans.

The host seemed determined of winning the first match of Sunfoil Test series. The openers- A Peterson (76 runs) and Graeme Smith (44 runs) made India feel the heat of competition as soon as the match started. However, 23 year old Mohammed Shami gave India an early breakthrough by getting an important wicket of Peterson, who was heading positively towards a century. Smith was back to pavilion after being run out extraordinarily by Ajinkya Rahane. Shami continued to stun South African players especially after getting the wicket of Hashim Amla, one of the consistently performing players of SA.

Enclosing lots of thrill and enthusiasm, fifth day belonged to Faf du Plessis, who confidently hit a terrific ton and snatched away victory from team India. However, he had to depart in the midst of crucial point of the match post an unfortunate run out. The entire game changed from here only. Audience got to see the real adventure of a Test cricket match when world’s best teams sparred with bat and ball, to get a lead by 1-0 in a two-match test series. An epic match, wherein both the teams looked strong to win the match, ended with a draw. At one time, it was mostly apparent as if India were going to loose the match, but Indian bowlers bowled brilliantly well in the last three overs, when South Africa needed 16 runs to steal the show.

A draw came as a win for both India and South Africa, who were on the verge on winning and loosing. Despite the fact that no clear outcome has come forward for the contesting teams, but it surely boosted morale on India that confronted humiliating losses against South Africa in the One Day International matches. The first test match of the Sunfoil series has automatically made the second test match very interesting that will take place between Dec 26 – Dec 30 in Kingsmead, Durban.

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