South Africans speechless after triumph over India
SOUTH Africa backed up paceman Dale Steyn’s five-wicket burst with their batting depth to end India’s winning run with a thrilling threewicket victory in the World Cup on Saturday.
Needing 13 to win in the last over off seamer Ashish Nehra, South Africa found an unlikely star in Robin Peterson, who plundered 16 runs off the first four balls to help his side achieve their 297-run target.
India looked set to post a mammoth total at 1-267, following Sachin Tendulkar’s brilliant 111 for his 48th one-day hundred, but lost their last nine wickets for just 29 runs in nine overs to be bowled out for 296.
Steyn ( 5-50) played a key role in his team’s fightback to bag his maiden five-wicket haul in one-day internationals. India had been hoping to wrap up a quarter-final place but still top Group B with seven points from five matches.
They are followed by West Indies ( 6/ 4), South Africa ( 6/ 4), England ( 5/ 5) and Bangladesh ( 4/ 4) as the pool heads for a thrilling conclusion in the final week of round robin games.
‘‘ For 15 overs up front we took an absolute beating, but for 75 we played some incredible cricket,’’ said South Africa skipper Graeme Smith, whose team was criticised last weekend for not being able to chase down a 172-run target to beat England.
‘‘ Chasing 300 on that deck, second innings was a hell of an effort and I think we’re all pretty speechless at the moment.’’
Singh Dhoni defended his team’s tactics in the latter part of their innings when wickets collapsed and runs dried up.
‘‘ You don’t play for the crowds. They always want you to hit sixes and fours,’’ he said.
‘‘ It’s always better that the batsmen play the overs, delay the slog a bit and get maybe a par score and don’t look for that extra 20 or 25 runs.’’
Jacques Kallis ( 69), Hashim Amla ( 61), AB de Villiers ( 52), Faf du Plessis ( 25 not out) and JP Duminy ( 23) also contributed to the win.