steyn attack blitzes India

NAGPUR, India - South Africa were eyeing victory after Dale Steyn produced a career-best 7-51 to trigger a dramatic India collapse on the third day of the first Test here yesterday.

NAGPUR, India - South Africa were eyeing victory after Dale Steyn produced a career-best 7-51 to trigger a dramatic India collapse on the third day of the first Test here yesterday.

Steyn quickly polished off the last five India wickets for three runs in 7,4 overs after tea to bundle them out for 233 and help the visitors enforce the follow-on at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.

Following on, India were tottering at 66-2, trailing South Africa by 259 runs on first innings with eight wickets in hand.

Murali Vijay was batting on 27 with Sachin Tendulkar on 15 when stumps were drawn for the day.

Steyn had struck again in India's second innings, sending back Virender Sehwag for 16, while Morne Morkel pegged back the off-stump of the other opener, Gautam Gambhir (one).

"I tried to hit the right areas with the same intensity," said Steyn.

"On some days you can bowl the best of your life and not pick wickets and then you have some days when things just fall into place.

"There was a ball change (around tea time) as the seam had split open and we came back strongly after that."

India's slide began with the dismissal of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (six) in the first over after the tea break.

The other debutant, Wriddhiman Saha, was out off the first ball he faced from Steyn. Zaheer Khan and Amit

Mishra played onto their stumps before Harbhajan Singh was trapped lbw, giving Steyn his 13th five-wicket haul in 37 Tests.

The only positive for India was the 109-run knock by Sehwag, who hit 15 fours and also shared 136 runs for the fourth wicket with Badrinath after India were reeling at 56-3.

The second and final Test between the world's top two teams begins in Kolkata on February 14.

SA can snatch back the No 1 Test ranking from India if they win the series while the hosts need just a draw to remain on top. - Sapa-AFP

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