India beat South Africa in Kolkata Test to retain No1 spot, level series

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Kolkata, Feb 18 (ANI) Team India on Thursday defeated South Africa by an innings and 58 runs to win the second Test match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata and retained their number one position in the official Test rankings and level the series 1-1.

India, who lost the first Test in Nagpur by an innings and six runs, needed a win or draw to retain the spot.

India now leads the Test rankings with 124 points, followed by South Africa at 120. These rankings have been reserved till May.

Resuming the day at 115-3, India bowled out South Africa for 289 in their second innings despite another unbeaten century from Hashim Amla.

Amla, who made an unbeaten 253 in the first Test and 114 in the first innings of this match, scored a fighting 127 off 394 deliveries with the help 16 boundaries, but his innings was overshadowed by Indian bowlers, who picked up wickets at regular intervals to keep the visitors under pressure.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (5-59) and leg-spinner Amit Mihsra (3-78) were the heroes for India, while fast bowler Ishant Sharma chipped in with two wickets.

Earlier in the day, overnight pair of Amla and Ashwell Prince (23) put on 47 for the fourth wicket, before Harbhajan broke through to dismiss Prince.

Mishra trapped AB de Villiers leg-before for three with a googly, as South Africa went to lunch at 164-5.

The visitors soon slipped to 180-7 as Harbhajan claimed both Jean-Paul Duminy (six) and Dale Steyn (one) leg-before soon after play resumed.

The lower-order frustrated the Indian team as Amla nearly shepherded the Proteas towards a draw along with Wayne Parnell (22) and Morne Morkel (12).

Harbhajan trapped Morkel to end the innings two overs prior to the finish of the match.

Amla was declared Man of the Match and Man of the Series for his splendid performance.

India and South Africa will now move on to Jaipur to play the first ODI on February 21, it will be followed by two more games at Gwalior on February 24 and Ahmedabad on February 27.

Brief scorecard:India First innings- 643 for six declared (Sehwag 165, Laxman 143 not out, Dhoni 132 not out, Tendulkar 106)

South Africa First innings 296 (Amla 114, Petersen 100, Zaheer 4-90, Harbhajan 3-64) Second innings 289 (Amla 127 not out, Harbhajan 5-59, Mishra 3-78)(ANI)

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