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India snatch dramatic win over S Africa

India overcame the absence of four top stars to beat South Africa by one run in a thrilling one-day international on Sunday and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Wayne Parnell was run out off the final delivery, attempting a second run that would have tied the match, to leave the Proteas on 297 all out in reply to India’s 298-9.

The tourists were tottering at 225-8 in the 43rd over when the ninth-wicket pair of Parnell and Dale Steyn swung the day-night match around by adding 65 off 38 balls. South Africa, needing 26 off the final 12 deliveries, smashed 16 runs in the penultimate over of Ashish Nehra that included a six each by Parnell and Steyn.

With nine runs required from five deliveries, seamer Praveen Kumar bowled Steyn and conceded just seven more off the next four to hand India a thrilling win.

Parnell hit a defiant 49 off 47 balls and Steyn plundered an 18-ball 35, but the pair failed to take the tourists across the line at the Sawai Man Singh stadium in Jaipur. Earlier, Suresh Raina top-scored with 58 off 63 balls and Virender Sehwag hammered a typically aggressive 46 off 37 balls as the hosts piled up 298-9 after being sent in to bat.

South Africa’s stand-in captain Jacques Kallis starred for the tourists with both bat and ball, claiming 3-29 from seven overs with his medium-pace bowling before making a fluent 89.

The veteran all-rounder hit six fours and a six before being eighth out, bowled by Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, 11 runs short of his 17th one-day century.

“That was quite a finish,” said Kallis. “The guys down the order played unbelievably well. The ball came on to the bat a lot better in the second session, but we lost wickets at the wrong time.

“Credit to our bowlers also. It looked like India would get a lot over 300, but our guys did well to keep them under that.”

JAIPUR, India, AFP

 

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