Dale Steyn, the return of the native

Dale SteynDale Steyn took three wickets in ten balls before Tea. Murali Vijay, out for 97, was one of his six victims of the day (Reuters)

Dale Steyn had not tasted blood for 71 overs as he commenced his third over of the second morning.

When he did finally, there was the inevitable explosion at Kingsmead. As he launched into his pummel-fist, drunken brawl-style celebration, you almost feared his forearm would come off.

The celebrations were uniformly pumped up, but he seemed to have enjoyed that of Cheteshwar Pujara the most, sending the batsman off with a scream. The dismissal had come about through a classical setup. Push the batsman back with a bouncer and then have him caught in his crease. Probably it wouldn't have mattered to Steyn how he broke his barren patch.

Having been kept quiet by the Indian batsmen for an extended period, he had finally broken through. One brought another, then another, and Steyn eventually end up with six wickets. By the end, his 6/100 had also brought a quick end to the Indian innings, bowled out for 334 after having finished Day One on 181/1. South Africa then wrested control of proceedings and finished in a slightly more dominant position for the first time in the series, with Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen taking the home team to 82/0 by stumps.

The dominant finish could be traced back to Steyn's over that began the slump. The first delivery was a perfectly directed short-pitched delivery that had Pujara fending more like ducking with his gloves in front of his helmet. It was clocked at 141 kmph. The second was fuller and defended solidly by the right-hander. Steyn shortened the length slightly with his next delivery.

The line too was a couple of inches wider, wide enough to draw Pujara into a drive away from his body. Steyn had done just that in his previous over too. But the flashy drive had flown past Graeme Smith's extended left-hand at a fourth slip. This one, however, went straight into AB de Villiers' gloves.

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