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India crawl to 53 for one

Cape Town: Chasing a daunting target of 340 for victory, India crawled to 53 for one in their second innings at lunch on the final day of the series-deciding third cricket Test against South Africa here on Thursday.

The Indians lost Virender Sehwag (11) during the session which saw runs come a slow pace on a difficult Newlands track.

Opener Gautam Gambhir, who came into bat despite an elbow injury, was batting on 32 and Rahul Dravid was on eight at the lunch break with India still needing 287 runs to win the series.

The Indians, however, appeared to be playing for a draw which would ensure that the three-match Test series ends in a 1-1 draw.

Faced with the stiff target, the two Indian openers adopted a cautious approach and were more content in playing out the new ball without taking too many risks.

Both the South African pacemen Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel got some movement and bounce from the fifth day track at the Newlands. Some of the balls rose alarmingly but the two batsmen managed to get themselves out of the way.

In the very second over, Gambhir needed some on-field treatment after being hit by Morkel`s first delivery. The ball bounced sharply outside off stump and hit him on the elbow.

Both Sehwag and Gambhir were prompt to despatch the loose deliveries to the boundary, both Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe being given that treatment.

Sehwag, who has not been among the runs right through the series, got a reprieve when he went for a cut and the ball just eluded the outstretched hands of substitute fielder J P Duminy at the point region.

But Sehwag could not capitalise on that chance and returned to the pavilion soon after, falling prey to Morkel who tested on his patience.

Sehwag leaned forward to defend a delivery which straightened after pitching and only succeeded in edging the ball to captain Graeme Smith in first slip.

The umpire checked whether it was a no ball from the third umpire and ultimately ruled the batsman out much to the jubilation of the home crowd.

Dravid, who joined the action after Sehwag`s dismissal, was quite content in defending and India`s runrate fell sharply.

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