India claimed a dramatic win in the dying minutes of the second test against South Africa on Thursday, squaring the series 1-1 and retaining top spot in the test cricket rankings.
India won by an innings and 57 runs, with that big margin disguising the nerve-racking ending to the test as the visitors got within touching distance of forcing a draw, losing the last wicket with only 13 minutes of play remaining.
South Africa’s Hashim Amla, named man of the match and man of the series, remained unbeaten on 123. He lost his more accomplished batting partners at regular intervals on the final day, but shared some dogged, time-evaporating stands with the tail enders to push his team toward a draw that would have delivered a series victory and that No.1 spot in the rankings.
Harbhajan Singh (5-59) claimed the final wicket, trapping Morne Morkel lbw, prompting the Eden Gardens crowd to erupt in celebrations.
Last man Morkel had hung on valiantly, facing 60 balls as he and Amla batted for 76 minutes in their brave but ultimately fruitless 10th-wicket stand. South Africa scored 290 in its second innings after 296 in its first, compared to India’s 643-6 declared in its sole innings.
After the spontaneous celebrations among the India players ended, many made their way to congratulate a disconsolate Amla, who batted throughout the final day and faced 394 balls in his innings. He finished with an aggregate of 490 runs across three innings in the two tests, only being dismissed once.
South Africa, aided by regular rain intervals on day four as it sought to grind out a draw, resumed the final day at 115-3.
With time at the crease counting for more than runs, South Africa’s very patient innings received two setbacks in the opening session, as Ashwell Prince and A.B. de Villiers both fell. Read Full Story from Publisher