Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Remarkable comeback at Durban - India draws level

The Kingsmead Durban has turned a happy hunting ground.  Not many times has India won abroad and even lesser after been 1 down in the Series.

Yesterday I had posted about a possible Indian win – what a day it was - 18 wickets tumbling – first Indians were all out for 205 – Steyn ending up 6/50.  SA started off well – 45/1 at one stage to 102/8 and finally caving in for 131.   Zaheer provided the breakthrough and Harbhajan sealed with 4/10.   Back again, Sehwag blistered for a shortwhile but once he fell, India lost 4 wickets quickly and were 56/4 at one stage.  Laxman and Cheteshwar Pujara brought some semblance of order and survived the day, before another stop due to bad light. 

A humdinger in the making, wild swings of furtunes – SA requiring  192 more with seven wickets in hand – dangerous Kallis and De Villiers at crease; only Laxman showed steely resolve and ease of batting, though there was no demon in the pitch.  But whether India could pull it off was the Q in everyone’s mind. 

This morning Sreesanth removed Kallis and made it more closer.  Bhaji had De Villiers.   Boucher followed, as did Steyn and Harris making it 182/8.  Prince and Morkel offered some resistance but not long enough to hand Indians a comfortable 87 run win engineered by Sreesanth (3), Zaheer (3) and Harbhajan (2)

There were some fears that SA might chase 303  bringing back memories of Perth 2008  when they chased 414 at WACA.

In low chases, it more of mental ability than any dreadful pitch and SA has succumbed as known for wilting under pressure especially in major ODI tournaments.  

Happy time for India – Well done Dhoni in leading another victory at foreign soil and drawing level.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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