South Africa and the rain beat India

2012-03-31 11:00
Khanyiso Tshwaku
Rain had the last say on an exciting poised New Age Cup game as South Africa beat India by 11 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method at the Wanderers yesterday.

Chasing 220, India were 71/1 after 7.5 overs before the rain halted proceedings.

Openers Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa started serenely, taking seven runs off an accurate Lonwabo Tsotsobe. However, Gambhir took advantage of some loose offerings from Albie Morkel, plundering two fours and a six.

Tsotsobe again tamed them, but Gambhir laid into Rusty Theron, hitting him for two fours.

At 47/1 after five overs, India was marching at South Africa’s pace, but with lightning in the distance, they tried to up the ante. Wayne Parnell kept the openers quiet, but Uthappa (18*) greeted captain Johan Botha with a silky cover drive, while Gambhir cut him past point.

Gambhir (49*), gamely tried to reach the D/L target as the rain came down, taking consecutive fours, but by the end of the eighth over, the rain had become too heavy and the players were whipped off.

On the back of half centuries from Jacques Kallis and Colin Ingram, the Proteas motored to an imposing 219/4 in their 20 overs.

Richard Levi, owner of the fastest T20 century, opened proceedings with a meaty drive down the ground for three runs. He opened his shoulders and proceeded to club two fours off medium pacer Praveen Kumar.

Left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan also came in for punishment with two boundaries, but he got his comeuppance when he had Levi (19) caught at first slip by Refit Sharma.

Enter the southpaw Ingram, who struggled in the T20 series against New Zealand. He welcomed Pathan (1/44) with a sweetly timed back foot drive to the cover boundary.
Vinay Kumar leaked only two runs from the third over.

While Pathan’s next over went for eight runs, Kallis went after Vinay, taking two fours off him.

Spin has always been India’s trump card, but on a track as good as the one being used, anything full or short presented itself like a deer caught in headlights.

Kallis, en route to a 42-ball 61, hoisted Ravichandran Ashwin (1/33) for a maximum over long-on. The carnage continued, with the pair scoring boundaries at will and picking off singles when needed.

Kallis brought up his 50 with a clouted straight drive off Virat Kohli, but then went into overdrive as he pillaged two consecutive fours of the hapless bowler.

Ingram marched to his beat, lofting Ashwin over long-on for six, but Kallis perished trying the same trick, holing out to Sharma at deep mid-wicket.

The 17th over was the stuff of nightmares for Vinay, as 20 runs were taken off the over. Ingram collared for six and two consecutive fours, while Farhaan Behardien creamed him through cover for four.

Ingram’s gem came to an end when he picked out Sharma at the midwicket boundary off Suresh Raina (2/49) for a well played 78.

Behardien (20*), however, cut Raina’s party short when he clubbed him for six over deep square leg.

Two of South Africa’s best domestic finishers in Behardien and Justin Ontong combined for a short and boundary-laden 35-run stand, which took the run-rate past 10 an over.

After taking 10 off Raina's first two balls of the last over, the spinner comprehensively castled Ontong (22).

However Albie Morkel ensured Ontong’s work would not be wasted, taking 16 off Raina's last three balls.