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Kingsmead poised for a tense finish

This is ought to be spine-chilling!

Test cricket, as they say, is the highest form of cricket where tension runs high amidst supreme quality of the game. The second test between South Africa and India is a testimonial to that very fact as the outcome of the Test match hangs in balance. Poised as it is, South Africa needs 192 more runs to clinch the series, India needs another seven Proteas wicket to restore parity. Time is not at all at a premium as two full days of play are still left.

This is ought to be spine-chilling!

Test cricket, as they say, is the highest form of cricket where tension runs high amidst supreme quality of the game. The second test between South Africa and India is a testimonial to that very fact as the outcome of the Test match hangs in balance. Poised as it is, South Africa needs 192 more runs to clinch the series, India needs another seven Proteas wicket to restore parity. Time is not at all at a premium as two full days of play are still left.

Like in The Ashes, where England is having a strong grip over the match and are certain favourites to win the Test match, Kingsmead, Durban is witnessing a battle of a different kind. India starting at 92/4, struggled to 228 in their second innings, thanks again to VVS Laxman, who, as older is he is getting, seems to revel under pressure. Its a rare quality of Laxman to make the tailenders his best batting colleagues in the middle, whenever India required. He missed the century by just four runs, but perhaps he missed more after failing to take India's lead to close to 350.

Nevertheless, a challenge of 303 in the fourth innings on Kingsmead wicket would not be easy to overhaul as the wicket still holding strong for the pacers and also for the spinners. India, for a change, has the wherewithal to score points on both these two departments in bowling with Zaheer working on his variety and Harbhajan regaining his touch, his doosras and more importantly, his confidence. But it was Sreeshanth who dealt the crucial blows by claiming Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith to leave South Africa tensed at 111/3 when bad light stopped play.

However, India should not feel themselves at ease, since the ever reliable Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers are still occupying the crease and could make things worse on the 4th day if MS Dhoni doesn't find ways to remove them early on the morrow. In any ways, the match will be decided on the fourth day. The question is which way? Can India repeat the bowling magic of the first innings or will it be South Africa's term to prove that the first innings batting debacle was just a blip in their consistency.

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