Hudson and Kirsten*** India in second test
CALCUTTA, Nov 27 (AFP) - A 236-run partnership between South African
openers Andrew Hudson and Gary Kirsten sent India on a leather hunt in
the second cricket test at the Eden Gardens here on Wednesday.
Hudson made 146 and Kirsten contributed 102 as the South Africans took
advantage of perfect batting conditions and sloppy catching to pile up
339 for two by close of the opening day's play.
A mammoth crowd of 85,000 watched the vaunted home attack reduced to
pulp by the fired-up South Africans seeking to avenge the humiliating
64-run defeat in the first test in Ahmedabad last week.
Hudson and Kirsten's run-a-minute stand fell just 24 short of South
Africa's all-time record for the first wicket -- 260 by Jack Siedle
and Bruce Mitchell against England way back in 1930.
First test hero Javagal Srinath broke the partnership in the opening
over after tea by shattering Kirsten's stumps with a deadly in-cutter.
Hudson, dropped twice off Srinath before he had reached double
figures, was dismissed an hour before close when he edged Venkatesh
Prasad on to his wickets.
But there was little respite for the Indians on the easy-paced wicket
as debutant Herschelle Gibbs (28 not out) and Daryll Cullinan (29 not
out) added 43 for the unbroken third wicket.
Hudson hit 24 boundaries in his fourth test century and Kirsten 14 in
his second, but both were lucky to survive a torrid first hour.
Saurav Ganguly, returning to the team on his home ground after missing
the first test at Ahmedabad due to an ankle injury, let off Hudson at
first slip in Srinath's second over.
The unlucky Srinath, who engineered India's first test win with a
career-best six for 21, then watched in horror as wicket-keeper Nayan
Mongia spilled a simple catch as Hudson edged an out***.
Kirsten's first scoring shot was a streaky edge off Prasad which just
eluded a diving Mohammad Azharuddin at second slip.
The pair capitalised on the fielders' generosity with ferocious
strokeplay around the lush green outfield.
They moved to 98 by lunch and smashed a further 138 in 31 overs in the
Their effort easily surpassed the previous best by South Africa for
the first wicket against India -- Hudson and Kepler Wessels' 98 at
Port Elizabeth in 1992.
Hudson, who was on 41 at lunch to Kirsten's 50, outscored his partner
in the second session and reached his century half-an-hour before tea
by slamming leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani for his 16th boundary.
Kirsten also reached his landmark with a cover-driven four off Hirwani
in the last over of the second session.
Hudson appeared to lose his concentration after Kirsten's departure
and felll 17 short of equalling his career-best of 163 made against
the West Indies at Barbados in 1991-92.
More than 70,000 were present at the toss, won by South African
captain Hansie Cronje, despite a general strike in the eastern
metropolis to protest the eviction of hawkers from crowded street
India left out Ahmedabad test opener Sanjay Manjrekar to accommodate
Ganguly and moved number three Rahul Dravid to open the batting with
South Africa ***ed newcomers Gibbs and Lance Klusener in place of
the injured Jonty Rhodes and seamer Fanie De Villiers.
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