January 24th, 2011 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on SA WIN ODI SERIES
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India won the toss and asked South Africa to bat first who scored 250 for 9  wickets.  Rain had curtailed the match on Sunday at the Centurion and the Indians had been required to score a revised target of 268 in 46 overs.Yusuf Pathan
If there was a fight-back by India, the lone crusader was Yusuf Pathan who launched an unparalleled assault to demonstrate that India meant business and that it shouldn’t be a cake-walk for South Africa but his knock could not provide the much needed victory to India.

Yusuf blasted a century off 68 balls and at that stage less than 50 runs were required for India to win the match and chaos was evident in the South African team. But after completing his century Yusuf gave a catch and was out much to the relief of South African team as well as the spectators.

The bowlers ran through the India’s top six in the batting order and apart from Parthiv Patel, 38 runs,  there was no one to shoulder the responsibility.

Rohit Sharma was bowled by Lonwabo Tsotsobe going for a loose drive; Dhoni edged to first slip; Yuvraj Singh edged two boundaries to third man before giving a soft to JP Duminy at point; Suresh Raina smashed a couple of fours before an upper cut sailed to third man.

India were 74 for 6 in the 14th over, and their only hope of saving the series were the clouds over the stadium which brought massive downpour which almost washed away the match before the 20th over.

Then came Yusuf Pathan to the crease. He went about his job in an attacking manner  but the wickets kept tumbling at the other end and India slid to 119 for 8. With Zaheer Khan adopting a cautionary approach, the end seemed near but he settled down after some initial scares and kept rotating the strike over to Yusuf.

Yusuf suddenly changed gears when he was at 58 and pounded three sixes and three fours in the next three overs to race to his century. A 21-run over from Tsotsobe brought the required-rate below five. Yusuf skied another attempted boundary and du Plessis latched on to it to settled South African nerves.

Once Pathan was gone, some ongoing efforts by the ever-capable Zaheer Khan kept India’s hopes alive, but he eventually fell to Tsotsobe for a decent 24 runs.

India ended their innings on 234 all out.

Morne Morkel ended with figures of 4 wickets for 52 runs, with Dale Steyn 2 wickets for 32 runs, Robin Peterson 1 wicket for 47 runs, Lonwabo Tsotsobe 2 wickets for 57 runs and Johan Botha 1 wicket for 33 runs offering excellent support.

India went in with only two quick bowlers, and their spinners didn’t pose too many questions to the South African batsmen. South Africa glided to 113 for 1 before Yuvraj plucked a spectacular caught-and-bowled to send back van Wyk, and had AB de Villiers stumped with a sharply turning delivery.

For South Africa, Hashim Amla scored a fine 116 runs and their batting was ably supported by pace bowlers Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn, as well as seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe and spinners Robin Peterson and Johan Botha.

Amla and Duminy revived South Africa with a 102-run stand. Amla’s innings was the punctuated with a dab to third man, perfectly timing the ball as he opened the face to pick up several boundaries, one of which brought up his century.

With today’s loss, India failed to realise their dreams of recording first ever ODI series win on South African soil besides ending the nearly  tour on a losing note. The three- match Test series  had already ended in a 1-1 draw.

South Africa won the match by 33 runs and has won the ODI series 3-2.

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