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Images: India vs South Africa, 3rd ODI (Newlands)

Last updated on: January 19, 2011 09:40 IST

It's advantage India at Cape Town

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Yusuf Pathan's pyrotechnics helped India recover from a top-order collapse and eke out a thrilling two-wicket win over South Africa in the third cricket One-day International at Newlands, Cape Town on Tuesday.

- Scorecard

Pathan proved that fortune favours the brave during his breezy 50-ball 59-run knock as he took his chances and hammered the South African bowlers, especially the spinners, to all parts of the ground.

After Pathan's dismissal in the 40th over, Harbhajan Singh (23 not out) took the onus on him to give India home and with little help from Zaheer Khan (14) and Ashish Nehra (6 not out) surpassed South Africa's score with 10 balls to spare to give the visitors a 2-1 lead in the series.

India held the upper hand over South Africa in the third ODI at Newlands, Cape Town despite having lost the toss.

Starting the proceedings, Zaheer produced a brilliant first over as he exracted swing and bounce to beat South African captain Smith a number of time. 

Smith survived a confident leg before wicket appeal in Zaheer's second over with a ball that swung in sharply but the umpire was unmoved. Television replays suggested that the ball would have gone over the stump.

India fired the first salvo in the seventh over when Zaheer bowled Amla (16) with a gem of a delivery.

Amla tried to drive through covers but the ball angled in and took an inside edge to knock down his off stump. 

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni introduced his specialist spinner Harbhajan as early as the 12th over of the match and he troubled Smith in his very first over.


Image: India's Murali Vijay (2nd left), MS Dhoni (3rd left), Yuvraj Singh (4th left), Suresh Raina (3rd right), Harbhajan Singh (2nd right) and Virat Kohli (R) celebrate the wicket of South Africa's Graeme Smith (L) during their third one-day international cricket match in Cape Town
Photographs: Reuters
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Harbhajan took two wickets

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Harbhajan struck in his second over by getting rid of Colin Ingram (10) to reduce the Proteas to 49 for two. 

Ingram, who has not been among the runs, stepped forward to defend but only succeeded in edging the ball to Virat Kohli at slip, who pulled off a one-handed blinder. 

The hosts then lost the wickets of de Villiers (16) and Smith in quick succession to find themselves in a spot of bother at 90 for four.

Smith made a patient 43 off 79 balls.

However, Harbhajan accounted for Smith when the latter attempted a sweep  but failed to time the ball and Kohli took his second catch at slip.

In fact the highlight of the day was the disciplined Indian bowling attack. Credit should go to the Indian new ball pair of Zaheer Khan (3 for 43) and Munaf Patel (2 for 42) , who made life difficult for the South African batsmen from the word go in
what looked as a flat Newlands track. 

Harbhajan (2 for 23) was not to be left behind as he controlled the proceedings in the middle overs.


Image: India's Harbhajan Singh appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of South Africa's Graeme Smith (not pictured) during their third one-day international cricket match in Cape Town

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Du Plessis made a fine ODI debut

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Debutant Faf du Plessis (60) and JP Duminy (52) scored risk-free half centuries before Indian bowlers made a remarkable comeback in the final batting powerplay to bowl out South Africa for 220.

The duo steadied South Africa's ship with a 110-run fifth wicket stand that came off 125 balls after they were down 90 for four at one stage.

Both Duminy and du Plessis were in no mood to take risks and toiled hard for their runs which came mostly in singles and twos. The duo's hardship can be gauged from the fact that they struck just three boundaries during their partnership.

With both the batsmen set at the crease, South Africa took their final batting powerplay in the 45th over but the decision misfired as both du Plessis and Duminy made hardly any imapct, departing when their team needed them the most. 

Du Plessis, who was struggling with cramps, was the first to show some signs of urgency, lofting Munaf over mid-off for a four in the 45th over before departing in the next ball in search one too many.

He was caught by an agile Kohli at the edge of the circle as the batsman went for an inside out shot over cover. 


Image: South Africa's Faf du Plessis (R) plays a shot as India's keeper MS Dhoni looks on during their third one-day international cricket match in Cape Town

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Duminy made a patient 52

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Duminy made a patient 52 before he was cleaned up by Zaheer.

And as if the twin blow was not enough, new man in Wayne Parnell was run out two balls later in search of a double.

Johan Botha, Dale Steyn and last man Lonwabo Tsotsobe were no better with the bat as they departed in quick sucession towards the end.

The final batting powerplay backfired for South Africa as they lost as many as four wickets for just 25 runs. 

To add to skipper Smith's woes, South African batters could manage only 48 runs in the last 10 overs losing as many as six wickets.


Image: South Africa's JP Duminy (R) plays a shot as India's keeper MS Dhoni looks on during their third one-day international cricket match in Cape Town

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India off to a shaky start

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India's were off to a shaky start as Murali Vijay's poor form at the top of the order continued as he fell in the second over of the innings.

Vijay was brilliantly caught by Dale Steyn of his own bowling after the right-hander was done in a by a delivery that stopped a bit on him on a slow Newslands track.

But Virat Kohli (28) started from where he left in the previous match and made his intentions clear with three classy boundaries after arriving at the crease.

The pair of Rohit Sharma (23) and Kohli played cautiously without taking any undue risks but when bad balls came their way, they dispatched them to the boundaries with consummate ease.

The duo were especially severe on first change Wayne Parnell as the left-arm pacer bled 21 runs in his opening three overs.

But the dangerous looking 76-ball 52-run partnership was cut short by an accurate Morne Morkel, whose twin blow in successive overs brought South Africa back into the game.

Kohli was Morkel's first off the victim in the last ball of the 15th over. The in-form right-hander flashed hard off a good length Morkel delivery that extracted good amount of nip after pitching, only to edge it to AB de Villiers behind the stumps.


Image: MS Dhoni plays a shot during the third One-dayer against India and South Africa at Newlands

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Morkel was the pick of SA bowlers

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And then in his next over the lanky right-arm pacer cleaned up Sharma, who inside edged one to the stump , to see India in a spot of bother at 61 for three.

In between, Yuvraj Singh marked his arrival at the crease in style carassing Lonwabo Tsotsobe to the extra cover fence to open his account.

To add to India's misery, off-spinner Johan Botha struck gold in his second over in the form of Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who edged a short delivery to de Villiers.

Smith then decided to introduce JP Duminy into the attack and the ploy worked for the hosts as he picked up Yuvraj straightaway.

Pathan, who came into the team in place of injured Sachin Tendulkar, lived dangerously from the onset but his aggressive instict bore fruit for India.

He took Botha to the task, hitting him for two fours in the 28th over and then followed it up with three towering sixes of the off-spinner to make it the most expensive over of the series so far.

Forced back into the attack in the 37th over, Morkel once again produced the body blow to the visitors getting the wicket of Raina as he top-edged one to de Villiers.


Image: Morne Morkel celebrates after picking up Suresh Raina during the thrid One-dayer at Newlands

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Pathan, Bhajji seal victroy for India

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Pathan, who came into the team in place of injured Sachin Tendulkar, lived dangerously from the onset but his aggressive instinct bore fruit for India.

He took Botha to the task, hitting him for two fours in the 28th over and then followed it up with three towering sixes of the off-spinner to make it the most expensive over of the series so far.

Forced back into the attack in the 37th over, Morkel once again produced the body blow to the visitors getting the wicket of Raina as he top-edged one to de Villiers.

The table, however, turned around completely from then on, as Pathan was brilliantly caught by an Morkel at third man off Steyn.

But gutsy Harbhjan was in no mood to give up and clobbered Parnell over extra cover to reduce the margin to 19.

There was more drama in store when Zaheer was caught at mid-off by Smith off Tsotsobe but Harbhajan and Nehra ensured that there was no further hiccup for India.


Image: India's Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra celebrate after winning the third ODI against South Africa

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