Durban: Rahul Dravid defied South Africa's pace bowlers as India struggled to 183 all out after being sent in to bat in the final of the triangular Limited Overs international series at Kingsmead on Friday.Dravid's 77 was the only substantial individual innings as the Indians struggled on a pitch which had bounce and more life than they had encountered in previous matches in the tournament. Fast bowler Mornantau Hayward troubled the Indians with his pace and steep bounce, with one delivery timed at 150.1 kmh. He took the key early wicket of Sachin Tendulkar and later ended a sixth-wicket partnership of 51 when Reetinder Sodhi was caught at deep mid-wicket. Hayward took two for 38 in his 10 overs. South African captain Shaun Pollock bowled immaculately to take two for 19 off nine overs, while Justin Kemp took three for 20. Pollock sent the tourists in when the day-night match started on time following heavy rain the previous day. The sky was overcast and there was enough moisture in the pitch for the bowlers to get some sideways movement. South Africa opted for an all-seam attack, leaving out left-arm spinner Nicky Boje. Pollock struck the first blow when he had Indian captain Saurav Ganguly caught behind for nine. Tendulkar followed after making 17 when he edged a lifting ball from Hayward into his stumps. Dravid and Virender Sehwag put on 60 for the third wicket before the aggressive Sehwag was caught at third man when he slashed at Makhaya Ntini. Dravid's sound technique and calm temperament carried him through while his teammates struggled. He reached 50 off 76 balls with five fours. Sodhi looked uncomfortable against pace but helped Dravid put on a vital 51 before he was out for 22. It started a collapse in which the last five wickets fell for 19 runs in five overs. As the innings went into the closing overs, Dravid tried to lift the tempo. He went down the pitch to attack Kemp but skied a catch to cover. He made his 77 off 102 balls with six fours. With the anchor of their innings removed, the last three Indian wickets fell with the total on 183 and India failed by 10 balls to bat out its 50 overs.
| Copyright AFP 2001 |