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India score first win on South Africa tour
December 02, 2006 00:03 IST
Last Updated: December 02, 2006 02:14 IST
Dinesh Karthik hit a last over six as India beat South Africa by six wickets in its first ever Twenty20 international at the Wanderers on Friday night.
The victory ended the tourists' winless streak on the tour.
India needed nine runs off the last over when Karthik (31 not out) pulled spinner Robin Peterson over mid-wicket for a six to virtually seal a thrilling victory. He then hit the winning run with a ball to spare to lift the sagging spirits of the struggling team.
India scored 127 for four in 19.5 overs after restricting South Africa, who opted to bat, to a modest 126 for nine.
It was the visitors' first victory of the tour after having conceded an unassailable 3-0 lead to the hosts in the five match one-day international series.
The main contributors in the successful Indian run chase were stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag (34 off 29 balls), Dinesh Mongia (38 off 45) and Karthik (31 in 28).
Earlier Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar claimed two wickets each to put the brakes on South Africa's batsmen.
India were off to a poor start again when Sachin Tendulkar (10) dragged a Charles Langeveldt delivery onto his stumps but then Sehwag and Mongia put the innings back on track with a 43-run second wicket stand.
Sehwag (34) departed at 60, out to a brilliant run-out by bowler Langeveldt, who threw himself forward to break the stumps and catch the Delhi batsman short of his ground.
Sehwag looked ominous and struck five boundaries and a six before a terrible mix up with Mongia resulted in the run-out.
India were soon dealt a blow in the guts when Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a Langeveldt delivery on to his stumps.
But Mongia and Karthik added a crucial 37 runs for the fourth wicket that steadied the Indian ship and moored it home.
Mongia then took the hosts' attack apart, hitting some big shots while Dinesh Kartick played smart cricket, rotating the strike.
Mongia blasted a six over extra cover off Morkel that landed in the stands.
With 18 runs remaining off 14 balls Mongia, in search of a boundary, lifted left arm spinner Peterson and Langeveldt held on to a the skier.
Karthik then played sensibly and guided India home in the company of Suresh Raina (3 not out)
Earlier, Khan (2 for 15) and Agarkar (2 for 10) were brilliant up front, reducing the hosts to 41 for 4 by the eighth over. The situation worsened when the swashbuckling Justin Kemp (22) fell leg before to Sachin Tendulkar.
India, however, received a jolt in the form of Agarkar tearing a right groin muscle in the middle of his third over. Home-bound after the one-day series, Agarkar has almost been ruled out of the last one-day international on Sunday.
South Africa lost their first wicket in Loots Bosman (1), when he edged Zaheer to Tendulkar in the slips and Agarkar struck from the other end by having Herschelle Gibbs (7), caught brilliantly at short cover by Suresh Raina.
Graeme Smith scored 16 before he was dismissed by Zaheer Khan, again in an all too familiar fashion -- leg before to an incoming delivery.
Agarkar claimed his second wicket when he dismissed AB de Villiers, who edged a drive behind the stumps.
Soon it was 64 for 5 when Tendulkar did well to skid one past big hitter Kemp's defence.
Albie Morkel (27) sparkled while he was at the crease, once hoisting Harbhajan Singh beyond the trees outside the confines of the Wanderers, but fortunately for India he lofted a catch to long-off in the 16th over.
Morkel's power-packed knock lasted 18 balls and included one four and three sixes.
A sizeable crowd turned up to soak in the pleasure of the match, which was replete with cheerleaders and music playing in the background.
One of the innovations of the game was also witnessed when Harbhajan Singh bowled a no-ball and, according to the rules, the next ball was a 'free hit'. Robin Peterson hit it down the throat of deep mid-off fielder but he was found standing out of his crease after running towards the non-striker's end when bowler Irfan Pathan took off the bails.
Run-out is the only way a batsman could be dismissed off a free-hit in this format.
South Africa rested five of their regulars, including Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini, while India, searching for the first victory on the tour, fielded their full side.
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-32, 3-34, 4-41, 5-65, 6-101, 7-121, 8-121, 9-124.
Bowling: Zaheer Khan 4-0-15-2, Sreesanth 4-0-33-1, Ajit Agarkar 2.3-1-10-2, Irfan Pathan 4-0-30-0, Sachin Tendulkar 2.2-0-10-1, Harbhajan Singh 3-0-23-1
Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-60, 3-71, 4-108
Bowling: John van der Wath 4-0-18-0, Charles Langeveldt 4-0-20-2, Roger Telemachus 4-0-28-0, Tyron Henderson 4-0-31-0, Albie Morkel 2-0-12-0, Robin Peterson 1.5-0-11-1.
India's tour of South Africa 2006: The Complete Coverage
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