Home > General > India clinch a thriller, level ODI series 1-1

India clinch a thriller, level ODI series 1-1

The Indian tour of South Africa had started one month ago, with a humiliating defeat for the visitors in the first test match at Centurion, which was followed by the great comeback In second test at Durban, and a stalemate at Cape Town, ensuring the first ever drawn series in South Africa. Similarly, the ODI series started with a thumping defeat by 135 runs in the first ODI at Durban and it was all looking like an uphill task to get something out of the series. But, to ensure some consistency in the results, India came back from the dead to clinch a thrilling 1 run victory in the second ODI and have leveled the series 1-1, with 3 more matches to go. Cruising towards victory, South Africa made a hash out of a comfortable run chase and collapsed to the narrowest of defeats.

India wins South Africa match

Source: Cricinfo.com

Earlier in the day, MS Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat first. India started off extremely cautiously, reaching 20 odd runs in the first 8 overs. The plan was to see off the new ball, keep wickets in hand to capitalize later. But, the plan was turning into a disaster, when India found themselves 67/3 in 19 overs. That is when Dhoni and Yuvraj got together at the crease and tried to rebuild the innings. Gradually, both of them were finding their stride and Yurvaj reached his half century. India were at 150/3 in 36 odd overs and the foundation was set for some late charge, to try and reach somewhere close to 250. Then came the astonishing collapse as India lost 7 wickets for 40 runs, including 4 wickets for 14 in the Batting Powerplay, to succumb to a below-par total of 190 all out. Tsotsobe, the Man-of-the-Match from the first match, was once again the destroyer in chief, taking 4 wickets for just 22 runs in his 10 overs.

If India had to have any chance of defending 190, they needed early wickets. Unfortunately, India got only 1 and South African captain was playing a captain’s knock, holding fort at one end, while others were chipping in with cameos. At 120/3 in 24 overs, with Smith and Duminy at crease, the match was heading towards a one-sided win for the hosts. Then, South Africa decided to give India a sniff as Duminy and Smith got out and the score read 152/5. It was still pretty comfortable, with just 39 more to get. But, to India’s credit, they hung in, kept picking wickets and eventually managed to set the panic bells ringing in the South African camp.

When Munaf Patel started the 43rd over of the innings, 4 runs were needed with 2 wickets in hand. What happened next was extraordinary. 2 short of a length deliveries, at innocuous pace, well wide of the off stump were hit straight into the hands of the fielders by Morkel and Parnell respectively to leave South Africa stranded, 2 runs short of the target, and sparking off wild celebrations in the Indian camp. Hence, India made a stunning comeback to level the series at Johannesburg. South Africa tried their best to make the match interesting and India made the most of the sniff, held their nerve and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Munaf Patel won a rare Man-of-the-Match award for his 4 wickets for 29 runs. The series now heads to Cape Town for the 3rd ODi on 18th Jaunary. And though India have leveled the series for the moment, their task of trying to win the series in South Africa for the very first time, has been made more difficult with Sachin Tendulkar to return home due to fitness problems, leaving India without all their first choice openers in Gambhir, Sehwag and Tendulkar. A dodgy looking Murali Vijay will have a new partner all together to open with , in the final 3 ODI’s and with Steyn, Morkel and company coming all guns blazing at the batsmen, it would require some effort from the Indian batsmen to post decent totals for the bowlers to defend.

Whatever happens in the final 3 ODI’s. this sensational win by India has set the series up for an exciting finish…

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