Munaf propels India to thrilling one-run victory against South Africa

Saturday, January 15, 2011

JOHANNESBURG - Indian bowlers staged a remarkable comeback to snatch a thrilling one-run victory against South Africa in the gripping second One-Day International cricket match here.

South Africa, after bowling out India for 190 runs, were cruising to victory with captain Graeme Smith (77) leading the charge.

But Indian pacers, Munaf Patel (4-29) and Zaheer Khan (2-37), triggered a sensational collapse after Smith’s fall to bowl out the hosts for 189 in 43 overs.

Man-of-the-match Munaf was given the new ball in place of Ashish Nehra and he justified the decision with a wicket in the first over, dismissing Hashim Amla caught behind with a beautiful seaming delivery.

Smith and Colin Ingram then added 59 runs before Harbhajan Singh trapped Ingram leg before wicket.

A.B. de Villiers (8) fell to Ashish Nehra (1-44) and J.P. Duminy, after raising 43 runs with Smith, was caught in the deep by Murali Vijay off Rohit Sharma.

India then bowled a steady line and choked the South African batsmen, not giving away easy runs.

When Smith was bowled inside out by Munaf with the score reading 152/5, India sniffed a chance and went all out to level the series.

Zaheer and Munaf bowled brilliant spells, turning up the heat on the lower order and taking wickets to keep the pressure.

Zaheer removed David Miller (27) and Johan Botha (4) while Munaf accounted for Wayne Parnell (12) and Morne Morkel in one over.

South Africa needed 12 runs with two wickets in hand when Dale Steyn was run out in the 39th over. Morkel hit straight to Yusuf Pathan at short cover and four balls later Parnell found Yuvraj Singh at point, sparking jubilition among the Indian players.

India thus levelled the five-match series after their loss in Durban.

Earlier, South African pacer Lonwabo Tsotsobe (4-22) registered his best ODI figure, running down the Indian line-up.

Indian batsmen again came a cropper against a disciplined South African pace attack and folded up in 47.2 overs.

Yuvraj (53) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (38) shared an 83-run stand, but after the stylish left-hander was dismissed by Tsotsobe, it was a march down to the pavilion. The last seven wickets fell for 40 runs.

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