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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

India wins thrilling 3rd one-day

takes 2-1 lead in the five one-days series

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011
Cape Town | With Ashish Nehra's boundary in the 48th wicket India won the third one-day match by 2 wickets with 10 balls remaining against South Africa in Cape Town.With this win India now go up 2-1 in the series.In the nail-biting finish, Ashish Nehara, Harbhajan Singh and Yusuf Pathan played important role.
Coming at number seven Yusuf Pathan scored 59 runs in 69 balls. His partnership with Harbhajan Singh turned the match in India's favour. Pathan was chosen as the as the Man of the Match.
      Chasing a modest 221 for victory, India were 37 for one after 11 overs. Opener Murali Vijay's (1) poor form continued as he fell in the second over to start India's run chase on a disappointing note.
Vijay was brilliantly caught by an athletic Dale Steyn of his own bowling after the right-hander was done in a by a delivery that stopped a bit on him on a slow Newslands track.
But Virat Kohli (18) and Rohit Sharma (15) then held on to the Indian innings after the early blow and were unbeatan at the crease after the 11-over mark. Earlier, JP Duminy (52) and debutant Faf du Plessis (60) scored risk-free half centuries before Indian bowlers made a remarkable comeback in the final batting powerplay to bowl out South Africa for 220.
Electing to bat, Graeme Smith made a patient 43 off 79 balls before Duminy and du Plessis steadied South Africa's ship with a 110-run fifth wicket stand that came off 125 balls after they were down 90 for four at one stage. But the highlight of the day was the disciplined Indian bowling attack. Credit should go to the Indian new ball pair ofd Zaheer Khan (3/43) and Munaf Patel (2/42) , who made life difficult for the South African batsmen from the word go in what looked as a flat Newlands track.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (2/23) was not to be left behind as he controlled the proceedings in the middle overs before Zaheer and Munaf returned at the death to bowl out South Africa in 49.2 overs from a good position.The final batting powerplay backfired for South Africa as they lost as many as four wickets for just 25 runs.
To add to skipper Smith's woes, South African batters could manage only 48 runs in the last 10 overs losing as many as six wickets. Starting the proceedings, Zaheer produced a brilliant first over as he exracted swing and bounce to beat South African captain Smith a number of time. Smith survived a confident leg before wicket appeal in Zaheer's second over with a ball that swung insharply but the umpire was unmoved. Television replays suggested that the ball would have gone over the stump.
India fired the first salvo in the seventh over when Zaheer bowled Amla (16) with a gem of a delivery. Amla tried to drive through covers but the ball angled in and took an inside edge to knock down his off stump. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni introduced his specialist spinner Harbhajan as early as the 12th over of the match and he troubled Smith in his very first over. Harbhajan struck in his second over by getting rid of Colin Ingram (10) to reduce the Proteas to 49 for two.
Ingram, who has not been among the runs, stepped forward to defend but only succeeded in edging the ball to Virat Kohli at slip, who pulled off a one-handed blinder.The hosts then lost the wickets of de Villiers (16) and Smith in quick succession to find themselves in a spot of bother at 90 for four.
Yusuf Pathan, who came into the team in place of an injured Sachin Tendulkar, struck in his very first over by getting rid of de Villiers with Zaheer taking a superb running catch in wide long on.
Harbhajan then accounted for Smith who attempted a sweep but failed to time the ball and Kohli took his second catch at slip.
     Then Duminy and debutant du Plessis joined hands to ressurect the South African innings with the 100-plus partnership. Both Duminy and du Plessis were in no mood to take risks and toiled hard for their runs which came mostly in singles and twos. The duo's hardship can be gauged from the fact that they struck just three boundaries during their partnership.
With both the batsmen set at the crease, South Africa took their final batting powerplay in the 45th over but the decision misfired as both du Plessis and Duminy made hardly any imapct, departing when their team needed them the most.
Du Plessis, who was struggling with cramps, was the first to show some signs of urgency, lofting Munaf over mid-off for a four in the 45th over before departing in the next ball in search one too many. He was caught by an agile Kohli at the edge of the circle as the batsman went for an inside out shot over cover. Duminy was then cleaned up by Zaheer in the next over to make matters worst for the home team. And as if the twin blow was not enough, new man in Wayne Parnell was run out two balls later in search of a double.Johan Botha, Dale Steyn and last man Lonwabo Tsotsobe were no better with the bat as they departed in quick sucession towards the end.

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