South Africa Won a Thriller
12 October 2015, Nirapad News: South Africa Vs India IST ODI at Green Park Kanpur Played on 11 October 2015
South Africa 303/5 (AB de Villiers 104*, F du Plessis 62, HM Amla 32, Farhan Behardin 35* ,A Misra 2/47 , UT Yadav 2/71) beat India 298/7 ( RG Sharma 150, AM Rahane 60 ,MS Dhoni 31, SR Dhawan 23 ,Imran Tahir 2/57, K Rabada 2/58 ) by 5 runs .
Player of the Match: AB de Villiers
South Africa for once did not choke. It kept the nerve cool and won a thriller by 5 runs in what appeared to be a high scoring match heading to a certain Indian win. So many times in the past Protean choked in similar situation. But yesterday at Kanpur they turned the tide on the Indians.
So many times the master finisher Dhoni shouldered his team to victory in similar circumstances but this time he could not. 48th over of Tahir and the last over of Rabada drew the curtain on the Indian surge to victory. South Africa won in the nail biting finish.
Riding on a blitz of the arguably the most destructive batsman in present day cricket AB de Villiers South Africa posted a massive 303/4 batting first. Indian bowling at death was completely destroyed by de Villiers and Berhadin tsunami.
India leaked 65 runs in the last 5 overs.de Villiers scored his 21 ODI century off the last ball with a huge six. He was the difference of the two teams and was rightly adjudged the player of the match.
India chased strongly when rollicking Rohit and talented Rahane led their charge with a sparkling 149-second wicket partnership. Rohit scored yet another brilliant stroke full century (150). India was 3/269 in the 47 th over. Indian fans were gearing up for victory dance. Imran Tahir struck two deadly blows removing well settled Rohit and Raina. Master finisher Dhoni was still there to take India across. Last over of the match started with India needing only 11 to win. In the first three balls the target came down to 6 runs.
Young Rabada removed Dhoni and Binny off successive deliveries and kept his cool of bowling the back of length last delivery.
South Africa won the thriller. There cannot be better script written for any cricket match of two evenly matched teams. There cannot be more entertaining contest, which goes down the wire. South Africa put their nose in front in the 5 matches ODI.
But believe me there will more such contest in the remaining four matches. With players like de Villiers, du Plessis, Amla Rohit, Rahane featuring no one will die in wonders .There will be plenty of entertainment we are sure.
South Africa opted to bat after winning the toss on a hot day. The wicket appeared a double paced with the possibility of wearing out. De Kock and Amla had little difficulties in negotiating the friendly pace attack of Indian seamers Kumar and Yadav.
Dhoni was forced to bring in his tramp card Ashwin as early as 9th over. He immediately struck gold removing aggressive de cock. For reason best known to Indian captain Ashwin was not given a longer spell. He was bowling with a tight line and tantalizing loop. One more wicket at that time could make a bit of a difference.
Du Plessis and Amla comfortably set the foundation playing the balls according to merit. 59 runs were added in the second wicket partnership till another spinner Amit Misra disturbed the furniture of well settled Amal with a lovely delivery. By then du Plessis was looking ominous and stage was set for master blaster AB de Villiers to join the act.
However this pair still played cautiously. ABD mostly relied on singles and couples. Du Plessis left after scoring an well played 62 of 77 deliveries. Miller and Duminy could not stay longer with their captain.
But ABD was firmly anchored by the last power play. A very eager Farhan Behardin joined him in the 46th over. Dangerous ABD stepped into his top gear and Behardin was his allay in the blitz. 65 runs were plundered in the last five overs.
ABD marched on this 21st ODI century his 7th in 10 ODI in India with a massive over boundary on the last ball of the innings. South Africa posted 303/5 which even Gavaskar thought was just enough for a win. When ABD is in tune no attack on any wicket can shackle him.
Dhoni was also handicapped from Ashwin injury a side strain that ruled him out of the remaining matches. Indian seamer looked pretty ordinary. AB de Villiers, du Plessis and Behardin exposed the weakness of Indian especially the lack of consistency. Duminy, Miller and Amla will also come to terms at some stage. Dhoni has really a task at hand to find containing bowling combination.
Indian response after removal of Dhawan through a controversial LBW decision early on was right of the track. Rohit was in prolific form, Young Rahane gave him admirable support. India was cruising. They put on 157 precious runs in the second wicket partnership. Rohit played many crisp strokes, so did Rahane.
A part timer Behardin made the break through removing Rahane at his score of 60. Captain brought in Steyn to tease and torment Virat Kohli with his fast reverse swing. That ploy paid dividends. Kohli could do no damage. Rohit was playing superbly. Dhoni joined and India was back again on the road to the target.
India was placed firm at 3/269 at the start of the 47th over. Imran Tahir had his last over of the spell. He could induce Rohit to a soft caught and bowled dismissal and immediately removed Raina with cleverly concealed Googly. Panic set into the Indian camp. But master finisher Dhoni was still there and the target was not beyond sight.
Steyn bowled a reasonable 49th over. The last over required 11 to win. ABD and Amla had their hands around the young man Rabada shoulder keeping up his spirit. It was a nail biting situation. Dhoni was at strike. Six runs were knocked off in the first three deliveries. Young Rabada kept his cool.
Dhoni lost his getting out on the 4th delivery. Binny came and went. When the match was over India was still five runs short. A dramatic end and fascinating win for South Africa.
South Africa has its nose in front. There are four matches still to play. Indian bowling needs to vastly improve if they are to compete. Harbhajan will not be a bad replacement for injured Ashwin. Amit Misra bowled well. But pace attack looks inadequate. Batting needs rethinking as well. Dhoni is possibly losing his touch a bit. Kohli has to get back to form ASAP.
South Africans will settle down better as the tour wear on. Dangerous ABD is on tune. India will have find out way to contain him. Amla is also finding touch. South African pace attack has the edge and Tahir will be more confident after his role in the first match. We feel advantage is with South Africa after first match.