India edge South Africa in thriller

India hold their nerve to clinch a narrow one-run victory in the three-match ODI series.

    AB de Villiers is clean bowled by Ravendra Jadeja as captain Mahendra Dhoni looks on [AFP]
    India snatched a one-run victory against South Africa in the thrilling opening ODI at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.

    Wayne Parnell was run out off the final delivery, attempting a second run that would have tied the match, to leave the Proteas on 297 all out in reply to India's 298-9.

    The tourists were in trouble at 225-8 in the 43rd over when the ninth-wicket pairing of Parnell and Dale Steyn reinvigorated the chase by adding 65 off 38 balls.

    South Africa, needing 26 off the final 12 deliveries, smashed 16 runs in the penultimate over of Ashish Nehra that included a six each by Parnell and Steyn.

    With nine runs required from five deliveries, seamer Praveen Kumar bowled Steyn and conceded just seven more off the next four to hand India a thrilling win.

    Parnell hit a defiant 49 off 47 balls and Steyn plundered an 18-ball 35, but it was not enough as India took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

    Solid start

    Openers Loots Bosman (29) and Herschelle Gibbs (27) gave South Africa a sound start. AB de Villiers (25) then helped Kallis take South Africa past the 100-mark for the loss of just two wickets, but a middle-order slump gave India the edge.

    Kallis hit a six and six boundaries from 97 balls, but did not get much support from other batsmen and was the eighth man out, bowled by paceman Sreesanth (2-74).

    "That was quite a finish," said Kallis.

    "The guys down the order played unbelievably well. The ball came on to the bat a lot better in the second session, but we lost wickets at the wrong time.

    "Credit to our bowlers also. It looked like India would get a lot over 300, but our guys did well to keep them under that."

    Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of India's attack, dismissing opener Gibbs and de Villiers to return figures of 2-29. Kumar took 2-46.

    Suresh Raina earlier top-scored with 58 to revive India after a middle-order slump.

    Raina smashed six boundaries and a six in 63 balls, and was the only player to score a half-century despite every recognised batsman other than Sachin Tendulkar reaching double figures.

    Virender Sehwag hit 46 and Dinesh Karthik 44 to be the next highest scorers, while Virat Kohli hit 31 and put on 66 with Raina.

    Early loss

    ODI scorecard

    India innings
    V Sehwag run out 46
    S Tendulkar run out 4
    D Karthik c Petersen b Langeveldt 44
    M Dhoni c Morkel b Kallis 26
    V Kohli c Gibbs b Morkel 31
    S Raina c Boucher b Kallis 58
    Y Pathan c Kallis b Parnell 18
    R Jadeja c Boucher b Kallis 22
    P Kumar run out 13
    A Nehra not out 16
    S Sreesanth not out 0
    Extras 20
    Total (for nine wickets, 50 overs) 298
    Fall of wickets: 1-10 2-89 3-116 4-138 5-204 6-231 7-260 8-274 9-292.

    South Africa innings
    L Bosman b Kumar 29
    H Gibbs c Kohli b Jadeja 27
    J Kallis b Sreesanth 89
    AB de Villiers b Jadeja 25
    A Petersen run out 9
    A Morkel lbw b Nehra 2
    M Boucher c Dhoni b Sreesanth 5
    J Botha lbw b Pathan 10
    W Parnell run out 49
    D Steyn b Kumar 35
    C Langeveldt not out 4
    Extras 13
    Total (all out, 50 overs) 297
    Fall of wickets: 1-58 2-64 3-109 4-134 5-142 6-161 7-180 8-225 9-290

    Kallis was the most successful bowler with 3-29 from seven overs. Kallis is leading South Africa after Graeme Smith returned home earlier this week after because of a finger injury.

    India lost Tendulkar for 4 and the total on 10 when he was sent back by Sehwag only to be left stranded as Parnell collected the throw from Gibbs and broke the stumps.

    Sehwag and Karthik added 79 for the second wicket before Sehwag was also run out when Karthik's shot was deflected on to the stumps after touching bowler Langeveldt's fingers. Sehwag collected six boundaries and two sixes in 37 balls.

    Karthik hit a six and five boundaries from 56 deliveries before hitting an errant pull shot off Langeveldt to Alviro Petersen at mid-on.

    India were tottering at 4-138 when Dhoni fell for 26, lobbing a short delivery from Kallis to Albie Morkel at mid-off.

    The stand between Raina and Kohli ended when the latter was caught by Gibbs off Albie Morkel.

    Yusuf Pathan, making his return to the injury-hit India team, was caught for 18 by Kallis at extra-cover off a full toss from Parnell. Kallis then removed Raina and Jadeja for 22 in successive overs, inducing edges to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

    Relieved Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni paid tribute to his team's fighting qualities.

    "It was a team effort," he said.

    "I am quite happy with our batting, but we need to lift our game in the field. We need to bowl and field better."

    The second match will be played in Gwalior on Wednesday and the third in hmedabad on Saturday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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