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India beat SA by 21 runs in T20

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Published: Sunday, January 9, 2011, 21:24 [IST]
 
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India beat SA by 21 runs in T20

India pulled of a sensation performance with the ball to reduce a cruising South Africa from 87/2 in the 9th over to 120/7 in 14.4 overs before wrapping up the hosts innings for 146/9, thus winning the only Twenty20 of the tour by a comfortable 21 runs.

South Africa's innings began on a shaky note. In just the second over, Indian seamer Ashish Nehra bowled Hashim Amla for 1 off 3 balls. South Africa stumbled to 8/1 in 2 overs.

But when Munaf Patel came onto bowl, he was welcomed by Morne van Wyk who flicked him over midwicket for a six and then followed up that shot with two back-to-back fours, one, through cover point and one back over the bowler's head. Van Wyk was on a roll. In the 4th over, he dispatched Nehra over midwicket for another six.

But the bowler came back well in the over, giving away just 2 more runs as the hosts moved onto 31/1 in 4 overs. Munaf too made a good comeback when he had Ingram caught by Praveen Kumar at short third man. But later that over, van Wyk hammered Munaf for a six and then a four in successive deliveries to take South Africa to 42/2 in 5 overs.

Then it was off-spinner R Ashwin's turn to come in for some tap. Van Wyk slapped him for a straight boundary and then pulled him to midwicket for a huge six. to take his side to over 50.

The Proteas had reached 59/2 in 6 overs after taking 17 runs off Ashwin's first over. Then A B de Villiers settled in by swatting Yuvraj Singh for two consecutive fours in the 7th over, while van Wyk got after Ashwin in the next over, smashing him for a six over deep midwicket to bring up his 50. He had made 54 in just 24 balls - the fastest 50 by a South African in T20s.

But he was not finished with business, when Praveen Kumar came back on to bowl, van Wyk cut him for a fierce boundary. The Proteas had raced to 87/2 in 9 overs, requiring just 82 from 66 balls. But in the 10th over, India fought back with a super run out to send back de Villiers for 14 off 10 balls and South Africa were 88/3, before Yuvraj trapped J P Duminy in front for a duck. The hosts were in a spot of bother at 89/4 in 9.4 overs.

In the very next over, Van Wyk flicked up Kumar, but the shot went straight into the hands of Nehra at midwicket. The batsman was on his way for 67 off 39 balls and South Africa were stuttering on 93/5 in 10.4 overs.

But captain Johann Botha was determined to keep the momentum going and struck Praveen for a boundary down the leg side. At the end of the over, South Africa still required 71 runs off 54 balls. Yuvraj kept up the pressure by bowling a 3-run 12th over as the hosts sneaked over 100.

In a dramatic following over, Miller swiped Yusuf Pathan for a six, but the bowler came back in the next ball to trap the batsman in front for 10. The Proteas had slumped to 108/6 in 12.5 overs. At the end of the over, South Africa needed 56 off 36 balls.

Two balls later, Botha hammered Yusuf for a six over long on. But just a couple of balls after that, the bowler had Alviro Petersen caught at short extra cover for 2. The Proteas were in dire straits at 120/7 in 14.4 overs, needing 49 runs from 32 balls. Ashwin then came on to bowl a tight 16th over, reducing the equation to 44 runs required off 24 balls. In the 18th over, Wayne Parnell kept South Africa's hopes alive by striking Nehra for a four.

But Ashwin saw the back of this upstart in the 19th over when he had him caught by Yusuf at square leg. Parnell was on his way for 14 off 16 balls and the Proteas were 141/8 in 18.3 overs.

In the very next over, Nehra dismissed the captain for 25 off 22 balls. Botha was on his way with the South African innings all but over at 144/9 in 19.2 overs. India ended up winning the match by 21 runs.

Batting first, India got off to a forceful start with opener Murali Vijay knocking two fours off South African express bowler Wayne Parnell in the first over and then smacking good-bye man Makhaya Ntini (who is playing his last international match) for another boundary. But Parnell had the last laugh when he had Vijay caught brilliantly by van Wyk at mid off, for 14 off 12 balls.

But the other opener Virat Kohli, was intent on keeping the momentum going and hit a back foot shot off Parnell to the fine leg boundary. Kohli then attacked Rusty Theron in the 4th over, when he flicked him to mid-wicket for another four.

Rohit Sharma got into the act soon after, edging Ntini for a four to the third man boundary, before Kohli joined the party to smash the same bowler for two more fours, before Sharma finished off the over with a powerful flick over midwicket for 6. Kohli then took a single off Theron to bring up India's 50, after which he and Sharma took 7 more runs off the over. A relatively quiet over worth 6 runs followed with India moving to 63/1 in 7 overs.

In the 8th over, Johan Botha came on to bowl, but he was blitzed through the covers by Kohli for four. But in the next over, he bowled the batsman for 28 off 19 balls with the scoreboard reading 67/2 in 7.3 overs.

In the 9th over, after Yuvraj and Sharma ran 5 singles, the former smashed a four to midwicket to take India to 78/2. The batsman took just 5 runs off the next over which was bowled by J P Duminy, reaching 86/2 in 10 overs.

Then Sharma got stuck into Botha, striking him for two fours, one though the on side and the other, through the off, before ending the over with a huge six. The last shot brought up India's 100. The visitors had moved to 102/2 in 12 overs.

However in the next over, Duminy ended Sharma's belligerence when he had him caught at the long-on boundary for 53 off 34 balls. Just a few balls later, Yuvraj was run out at the non-striker's end for 12 off 13 balls. India had stumbled to 110/4 in 13.1 overs.

Raina struck Ntini for a boundary in the first ball of the 15th over, but the bowler conceded just 4 more runs in the over as India moved to 122/4 in 15 overs. Raina then went after Theron, smashing him for a four to midwicket and then for a six in the same region.

But Theron came back strongly in the over when he bowled Yusuf for 6 off 8 balls. The danger man was gone and India were floundering on 136/5 in 16 overs, with captain M S Dhoni the new man at the crease. Parnell bowled a frugal 17th over, conceding just 6 runs.

Raina gave Ntini an inauspicious last over in international cricket, when he hit him for a six over midwicket and scurried three singles and a double with Dhoni. India has consequently moved past 150. In the last over, Raina hit a six off Theron but was out in the last ball when he was caught at mid-off. India had posted a competitive 168/6 in their 20 overs with Rusty Theon picking up 2/39 off his four overs.

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