India draw Test series for 1st time in South Africa

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Cape Town: Set a daunting target of 340 for a win, India opted to play safe and bat their way to a draw in the third and final Test against South Africa to end the high-profile series 1-1 on January 6.

The Indians never made an effort to chase down the stiff target and the batsmen played out time to crawl to 166 for three in their second innings before play was called off to mark the end of a fascinating three-match series.

Although the Indians could not achieve their dream of a maiden away series win over South Africa, it was a creditable achievement for the visitors as they drew a Test series for the first time on the African soil. The result also          meant that India maintained        their number one ranking.

The visitors lost the first Test in Centurion by an innings and 25 runs, but showed great character to bounce back and win the second Test in Durban by 87 runs.

The Indians could have entertained hopes of going for the target had Virender Sehwag (11) fired but the dashing opener fell cheaply to end the series without too may runs to his credit.

Gautam Gambhir defied an elbow injury and played a resolute knock of 64 to be the highest scorer in the second innings. Sachin Tendulkar (14) and V.V.S. Laxman (32) were at the crease when play was called off after 82 overs.

The engrossing series between the two top ranked teams in the world will be remembered for Tendulkar’s historic 50th Test century and the batting heroics of Jacques Kallis, who scored three centuries.

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