Dravid, Laxman steady India after initial blows

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali, IANS

Kanpur : V.V.S Laxman and Rahul Dravid were resurrecting the Indian innings after two quick strikes by South African bowlers left the hosts reeling at 88 for the loss of two wickets by lunch on the second day of the first Test here Saturday.

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The duo added 53 runs for the third wicket, after India lost Virender Sehwag (8, 14 balls, 2x4s) and Wasim Jaffer (15, 34 balls, 3x4s) by the 11th over at the Green Park Stadium. South Africa made 265 in their first innings.

After losing two wickets for just 35 runs on board, Dravid and Laxman put their heads together to survive on a pitch that made life difficult for the batsmen with uneven bounce.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn could have got Jaffer when he was on four. Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher dived to his left but still dropped the ball as the batsman tried a flick.

Steyn, however, was rewarded in the fifth over when the ball kept a bit low and trapped Sehwag leg before the wicket.

Pacer Morne Morkel, in his first over of the day, accounted for Jaffer with a ball that came into him and hit low on his pad in front of the stumps.

But despite the variable bounce, a resolute Dravid and Laxman stayed put. First they tried to get their eye in and then played some exquisite drives that drew warm applause from the sparse crowd.