India lose match, series despite Pathan miracle

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Published: Sunday, January 23, 2011, 21:43 [IST]
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India lose match, series despite Pathan

Even a miraculous 105 off 70 balls from Yusuf Pathan was not enough to bring India home in the fifth and final one-dayer against South Africa. The top and middle order had collapsed yet again as India slumped to an atrocious 98/7 in 19.1 overs. Then Pathan put on 21 runs with Piyush Chawla and a record 100 for the 9th wicket with Zaheer Khan before perishing to Morne Morke, who incidentally took 4 wickets.

India's innings got off to a positive start with openers Parthiv Patel and Rohit Sharma each taking a four off Lonwabo Tsotsobe in the 2nd over. Then Parthiv square-cut Dale Steyn for another boundary as Indian climbed to 19/0 after 3 overs. But Tsotobe returned in his next over to bowl Rohit Sharma with a slower deliver for 5 off 8 balls. India were 21/1 in 4 overs as Virat Kohli walked out to the middle.

Then Morne Morkel struck with his first ball, removing Kohli for 2 in the 7th over. India were in deeper trouble at 31/2 when captain M S Dhoni came to the crease. But the skipper didn't last very long either, edging Morkel to Graeme Smith at slip, for 5 as India had slumped to 45/3 in 8.3 overs.

At the end of the 10th over, Parthiv went for a cover-drive, but was snapped up by du Plessis off the bowling off Morkel. The batsman was on his way for 38 off 34 balls as India's line-up was crumbling again with the score at 60/4 in 11 overs. In just the next over, Yuvraj hit Steyn straight to J P Duminy at point as India has fallen to 60/5 in 12 overs.

Raina was the next to go, slicing a Steyn bouncer straight into Morkel's hands at third man. He was on his way for 11 and India now had their tail exposed at 74/6. Harbhajan Singh tried to hold out hope by smashing Peterson over long on for six, but Botha foxed him for 13 and India were 98/7 in19.1 overs.

In the 20th over, Yusuf Pathan and Piyush Chawla took India past 100 and then Pathan decided to cut loose. He struck Peterson for a four and then a six in the 21st over. In the 23rd over, Chawla got into the act, getting Peterson away for a boundary. But the bowler came back to bowl the batsman and Chawla was on his way for 8 as the scoreboard now read 119/8. With the score at 139/8, Zaheer top-edged a Morke delivery to the keeper, but the ball was declared a no-ball and the batsman survived.

In the 29th over, Pathan got stuck into Morkel, smashing him for a six and two fours to take India to 159/8 and bring up his fifty in the process. Then Pathan lofted Peterson for another six in the 30th over.

But Pathan's most destructive over was yet to come. In the 34th over, Pathan smashed Botha for 2 sixes, he and Zaheer taking 16 runs off the over and reducing the equation to 72 runs required from 72 balls.

Then Pathan went after Tsotsobe, taking two sixes and a four off the fast bowler to reach his century. He had notched up 101 off just 68 balls, with 7 fours and 8 sixes. Pathan wasn't done with Tsotsobe yet, striking him for another boundary. India needed 50 off 11 overs. But Pathan had finally hit one shot too many when he skied Morkel into the hands of du Plessis. The batsman was out for 105 off 70 balls.

India required 50 off 64 balls with Munaf Patel, the last batsman, at the crease. Zaheer and Munaf tried to bide their time as best they could, pushing for the ones and twos. But with India requiring 34 off the last 6 overs, Zaheer holed out to Morkel at long on to hand South Africa victory by 33 runs.


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