Ahmedabad, Apr 5 (UNI) India crashed to a massive innings and 90 run defeat to South Africa after being bundled out for 328 runs in their second innings on the third day of the second Test being played at the Sardar Patel stadium, Motera here today.
The final nail in the coffin was put by Makhaya Ntini who clean bowled Sreesanth for 17, while Irfan Pathan was left standing alone at the other end after making an unbeaten 43 runs of 77 balls with four boundaries and a six.
Courageous, fighting half-centuries from Sourav Ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and their 110 run partnership for the fifth wicket saved some face for India after yet another listless performance by their top order batsmen.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who joined forces with Sourav Ganguly at 125 for four after the fall of V V S Laxman who was looking good, playing some wristy shots in his 35 when he was dismissed.
The duo frustrated the South Africans for over 35 overs, adding 110 runs before Ganguly fell to an ill-judged drive outside the off-stump to Dale Steyn, just 13 runs short of what would have been a well deserved 16th Test century for him.
Every South African bowler tested Ganguly with the short ball, but he suffered his most anxious moments against the deliveries that slanted across him. A beautiful square-drive off Morkel and a crisp off-drive off Steyn saw him find his range, and Dhoni's arrival allowed the strike to tick over steadily.
Dhoni chanced his arm as he's prone to. A cut off Steyn flashed through gully and after he had whipped Paul Harris through midwicket, he got his first stroke of luck. A short ball from Steyn, a miscued hook, and a complete bungle on the long-leg rope from Makhaya Ntini, who had wandered too far in.
Just before the tea interval, a rash charge at Harris by Dhoni saw Boucher fluff a tough stumping chance.
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