India got the scare of their life but they survived the onslaught of the South African tail and beat them by 1 run on the last ball of the nail-biting 50 over match. South Africa won the toss and elected to field at the Savai Man Singh Stadium at Jaipur in the First ODI played between them on Sunday. India’s gave a pathetic display of their batting and their top order collapsed due to a bit of hard-luck and lapse of concentration and they lost wickets at regular intervals.
Suresh Raina was the only batsman who could post a half century for India. Sachin (4) and Sehwag (46) were very unfortunate to be run out. No batsman was able to post a good score and there were hardly any partnerships worth mentioning.
Sudden rush of blood at the fag end of the India’s innings, by Ashish Nehra and Praveen Kumar helped India to reach 298 for 9 in their allotted 50 overs, thus setting a target of 299 for South Africa. Virat Kohli (31) and Ravindra Jadeja (22) also chipped in to see that the score looked respectable and became a fighting total.
After 25 overs South Africa were 130 for 3 with Jacques Kallis batting on 38*, and at that stage Ravindra Jadeja had taken 2-23 and needed 169 runs to beat India who had made 298 for 9 with Raina the only half century maker for them (58).
India were crusing along towards a comfortable victory but the South African tail, particularly the 65 run stand between Dale Styen (35)and Parnell (49), almost took their team home but for the last ball run out of Parnell.
Sreesanth justified his inclusion in the team when he rattled the furniture of Jacques Kallis (89) and also took the prize scalp of Mark Boucher (5) to tilt the match in favour of India. He was also instrumental in the run out of Parnell (49) on the last ball of the innings. Ravindra Jadeja also bowled his left arm spin extremely well and took 2 for 29 in his 10 overs.
And when Kallis got out, it appeared that India would win this match conveniently and that there would be no last ball hiccups. But this match became extremely interested for the jam-packed stadium as well as for the viewers on the tv.
Ravendra Jadeja was declared the Man of the Match for taking 2wickets for 29 runs and scoring a very useful 22 runs for India.