Petersen, Amla bolster SAfrica in India Test

KOLKATA: South Africa made a solid start in the second and final cricket Test against India on Sunday, racing to 116-1 by lunch on the opening day.

Debutant Alviro Petersen and in-form Hashim Amla put on 107 for the unbroken second wicket after India dismissed skipper Graeme Smith in the third over at the Eden Gardens.

Smith, who went ahead despite a fractured finger to play the crucial Test and then won the toss for the second time in the series, made four when he was bowled by left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan.

Petersen, handed his Test cap at the last minute after wicket-keeper Mark Boucher was ruled out with back spasms, responded with a fluent 57 not out comprising 10 boundaries.

Petersen, a 29-year-old from Port Elizabeth, has already played 10 one-day internationals where he averages 48.85.

Amla, who made an unbeaten 253 in the first Test which the Proteas won by an innings and six runs, continued his good form to remain unbeaten on 49.

South Africa need only a draw to take over from India as the number one team in the official Test rankings.

The Eden Gardens wicket, sporting a greenish tinge, provided even bounce and enabled the batsmen to play their shots.

Both teams made one change from the sides that played in the first Test in Nagpur.

India welcomed back middle-order batsman Venkatsai Laxman, who missed the first Test with a finger injury, in place of Wriddhiman Saha.

AB de Villers will keep wicket for the tourists after Boucher missed out.