January 19th, 2011 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on INDIA BEAT S.A. 3rd ODI
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Yusuf Pathan’s chanceless 59 helped India beat South Africa by two wickets during the second ODI in Cape Town on Tuesday. India were struggling at 93 for 5 before Pathan and Raina steadied the innings with a 75-run partnership.Yusuf PathanSouth Africa had made 220 runs and Plessis and Duminy helped South Africa’s recovery earlier.

Thereafter, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan then ensured that India won the match to give a 2-1 lead in the five ODI series. 

Yusuf Pathan helped India recover from a top-order collapse to eke out a thrilling two-wicket win over South Africa in the third one-dayer here. 

The match changed dramatically in the 28th over of the Indian innings when Pathan, on six, edged Botha for a boundry between wicketkeeper AB de Villiers and captain Graeme Smith at slip.

Pathan swept the next delivery and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, running in from the boundary to try to take a catch, misjudged the ball and it went for another four. 

In the next over from Duminy, Pathan again swept in the air and Morkel also misjudged the ball in contemplating a catch and another boundary was the result. 

Then Pathan struck three sixes off four balls from Botha, all sailing over a fielder at deep mid-wicket. 

India were 104 runs away from  the target when Yusuf cemented his world-cup spot by hitting Johan Botha for three sixes in an over to push India ahead. 

When he fell, 39 runs short of the target, Harbhajan crashed Wayne Parnell and Morne for stunning sixes to clinch the game, with 10 balls to spare. 

He added 26 runs with Zaheer Khan before stitching together another 15 with Ashish Nehra to take India home. 

Earlier, Virat Kohli 28 started from where he left in the previous match and made his intentions clear with three boundaries after arriving at the crease. The pair of Rohit Sharma 23 and Kohli played cautiously without taking any undue risks. 

Suresh Raina also helped the cause with a 47 ball 37 runs and brought India back into the reckoning with a 75 run stand when India was crying at 93 for 5 wickets. The top five batsmen had already gone back to the pavilion. 

Yusuf Pathan got out in the 40th over and it was left to Harbhajan Singh to perform the final rituals. Zahir Khan also contributed the valuable 14 runs. Harbhajan Singh 23 and Ashish Nehra 6 runs remained not out and India were had their tail up with 2-1 lead in the series. 

Morne Morkel 3 for 28 runs and Dale Steyn bagged 2 for 31 runs produced the fire for South Africa. 

Earlier, JP Duminy 52 runs  and debutant Faf du Plessis  60 runs scored flaw-less half centuries before Indian bowlers made a remarkable comeback in the final batting power-play to bowl out South Africa for 220. 

Electing to bat first after winning the toss, Graeme Smith made 43 off 79 balls before Duminy and du Plessis steadied South Africa’s innings with a 110-run fifth wicket stand. South Africa at one stage were dangling dangerously at 90 for four. But the highlight of the South African innings was India’s disciplined bowling attack and catching in the field. 

Credit for the South Africa’s dismal score goes to Zaheer Khan who took 3 for 43 runs and Munaf Patel 2 for 42 runs. 

Off-spinner Harbhajan got 2 for 23 runs  helped by two diving slip catches by Virat Kohli, and  controlled the proceedings in the middle overs before Zaheer and Munaf returned at the end to bowl out South Africa in 49.2 overs. 

The final batting power-play backfired for South Africa as they lost as many as four wickets for just 25 runs. To add to skipper Smith’s woes, South Africa could manage only 48 runs in the last 10 overs losing as many as six wickets.

Ravi Matah

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