Sunday, February 21, 2010
India clinch stunner
India 298 for 9 (Raina 58, Sehwag 46, Karthik 44, Kallis 3-29) beat South Africa 297 (Kallis 89, Parnell 49, Jadeja 2-29) by one run
Man of the Match : R Jadeja
MS Dhoni perhaps can’t blame his bowlers for almost losing the match they had in their pockets. He trimmed down the attack to its bare minimum strength — he went into the match with just three regular bowlers and without a specialist spinner — but the bowlers just about held their own to script a memorable one-run victory despite a fighting all-round effort from Jacques Kallis (89 run and three wickets) and a heroic 65-run run partnership between Wayne Parnell and Dale Steyn for the ninth wicket.
The nail-biting Eden Gardens Test was the perfect envoy to the first ODI between India and South Africa. The Sawai Mann Singh Stadium in Jaipur witnessed something that will go down as one of the most thrilling contests in the history of One-day cricket. And it was India who prevailed in the last ball photo-finish by a solitary run and take a 1-0 lead in the three-ODI series.
Well, a lot of people would have put their money on SA to chase this down but, the Indians did well to get wickets at regular intervals and put the pressure on the visitors.
Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers taking two crucial wickets and conceeding only 29 runs in his ten overs. Kallis fought a lone battle and kept things at bay but his well made 89 was not sufficient to take them home. Sreesanth came back well after being hit for 31 runs in his 3 overs and got 2 important wickets including that of Kallis. Steyn and Parnell hit a few big ones towards the end to cause a few hiccups but it was all too late by then.
SA are tagged 'chokers' but they did everything to prove that wrong today. India won the match by 1 run at the end. Dhoni shuffled his bowlers pretty well, and with this win, India inch closer to retain the No 2 spot in the ICC rankings. All they need to do is to win one more game out of the two that are left.
At one stage, this game looked dead and buried for SA, but they found 2 unlikely heroes with the bat, in Parnell (49-47 balls) and Steyn (35-19 balls) who got them within sniffing distance.
In the end, even the normally composed Dhoni was looking extremely nervous out there. What a start to the series. This is just an indication of what is to come in the remaining 2 matches. Fantastic stuff really....Praveen Kumar, however, held his nerves to eke out a thrilling one-run win for the team.