South Africa Innings
Overs 15-20 South Africa 151 all out
After being knocked out, India held their nerve in the most inconsequential climax bowling South Africa out when only two runs were required.
In the last five overs, South Africa needed 46 from 30 while India should have stopped them to 121 if they were to make this game meaningful.
Zaheer Khan removed Beharedien with the slower ball and then yorked out Peterson.
F Behardien c Raina b Khan 13 off 12 balls (1x4)
RJ Peterson b Khan 10 off 10 balls (1x4)
South Africa needed 24 off the last two overs but Botha, Albie and Morne departed not without hitting a six each, bringing South Africa closer before Morne Morkel needed 2 off 2 and was beaten by Balaji’s full length delivery.
J Botha c Raina b Ashwin 8 off 5 balls (1x6)
JA Morkel b Balaji 10 off 6 balls (1x6)
M Morkel b Balaji 6 off 3 balls (1x6)
South Africa have eventually lost the game and are now taking India with them. When Pakistan beat Australia earlier, they both were happy and in this game it is just the opposite despite India winning it. Not often do we see a day like this.
du Plessis might not have seen this chase through for South Africa but might have done enough to keep India out of the semis. He slogged Balaji over midwicket for boundaries in consecutive balls and then executed an inside-out over extra-cover before falling in the next delivery trying to clear long off and not getting hold off it.
du Plessis c Raina b Yuvraj Singh 65 off 38 balls (6x4 2x6)
It was again a bad move to remove Ashwin and replace him with Balaji. The over yielded 11 runs and by then India’s hopes of making it to the semis were slowly fading away before Duminy tried to heave over midwicket and picked Gambhir in the deep.
JP Duminy c Gambhir b Balaji 16 off 23 balls
Overs 5-10 South Africa 73/3
Yuvraj is wielding his part-time spin to great effect these days that his skipper instinctively throws a 6-over old ball to him. Yuvraj struck in his very first delivery. An uncertain de Villiers waits and plays it on to the base of off stump.
AB de Villiers b Yuvraj 13 off 13 balls (2x4)
Ramesh Srivats tweets (@rameshsrivats): UV vs AB. The second half of the alphabet wins.
du Plessis and Duminy scrampered singles and twos throughout adding to India’s worries. Surprisingly Rohit Sharma was brought in to bowl in the 8th over ahead of Ashwin and South Africa pouched on him like a lion snatches its prey. He went for 13 runs which included a six over midwicket.
Dhoni realised this and brought Ashwin in as late as the 10th over.
Overs 1-5 South Africa 32/2
India have picked up Amla and Kallis early to leave South Africa in trouble. But the Proteas have kept scoring at a rate that would worry the Indians.
Zaheer first scalped Amla with the one that shaped away. Amla swished and Sehwag held a good low catch.
H Amla c Sehwag b Khan 0 off 2 balls
This was Amla’s first duck in 15 T20 internationals, reckons @mohanstatsman.
In contrast with what happened last game, the first over yielded 2 runs with the loss of Amla’s wicket.
Meanwhile, Sidvee comes up with a tongue in cheek tweet (@sidvee): Hey South Africa. Are you chasing 122 or 153. Let's be brutally honest here.
Kallis tried to chip Irfan from the off stump only to be caught by Rohit Sharma in midwicket.
J Kallis c Sharma b Pathan 6 off 8 balls (1x4)
Gaurav Sabnis (@gauravsabins) Ummm, in case anyone cares, to top the group, we need to restrict SA to 110.
Dhoni has set some very good attacking field here and the bowlers have responded beautifully by bowling the right areas. The boundaries have come more because of the batsmen's quality than ordinary bowling.
Overs 15-20 India 152/6
Raina’s well compiled 45 and Dhoni’s late biff take India to 152 but we need to wait to see if India can defend 121 to surpass Pakistan’s NRR. On the other hand, South Africa have done a decent job against this batting order and restricted them to a modest total.
Earlier, in the 16th over, Petersen caught Rohit Sharma plumb in front as he went for a sweep a delivery that landed on the off-stump.
RG Sharma lbw b Peterson 25 off 27 balls
Raina was tested with some short-pitch stuff as Steyn and Kallis fired deliveries to his chest. In fact, Raina pulled Kallis haplessly in the 18th over but was dropped by Behardien running in from deep-midwicket. However, he kept scoring runs at a healthy pace, fancying his one of favourite inside-out over extra-cover. He lofted Steyn over mid-off for four and after his catch was spilled, he on-drove Kallis to the midwicket boundary.
In the 19th over, Dhoni whipped Steyn to the midwicket boundary, pulled a short ball over Steyn’s head for another boundary and sprinted twos in 3 balls. In the last over of the innings, he swept Kallis from outside off to bring up the 150. Some steadfast running were involved with Dhoni and Raina in the crease before Raina was dismissed while trying to sneak a second run off the last ball.
Venkatanath tweets (@venkatanant): For those who don't know, Johan Botha began his career as a pacer and then switched to bowling off-spin after watching HARBHAJAN SINGH!
Overs 11-15 India 112/5
Sharma and Raina have done well to score at a healthy rate and also keep their wickets intact through this phase. Sharma, however, had an early reprieve. Botha could have effected a stunning running catch off Sharma’s slog had he not spilt it when he hit the ground.
Spin was introduced in both ends and the pair milked. A single here and there.. twos were rarer. The 14th Botha over was the most productive as it yielded 13 runs. Raina went for a trade mark inside out several times. Only once did it get to the boundary as either the long-off fielder was a bit square.
The skipper summoned Duminy to bowl the 15th over and the tactics worked wonders. The part-timer gave away a run a ball to his skipper’s delight.
Meanwhile former Cricinfo staff Nitin Sundar is still optimistic: Morne bowled out. Steyn isn't the best in the end overs. India can STILL make 165 here, he tweeted.
Overs 6-11 India 71/4
It sometimes helps that the ask doesn’t make for too much expounding in the dressing room. Yuvraj Singh has played some crucial innings in the shorter version for India in the past. After he saw three top wickets tumble, he exhibited a nonchalant stroke play that would have left the less gifted envying him. However, Morne Morkel made sure that his stay was only brief.
In the seventh over, he leaned forward, got under the ball and hoisted Botha over extra-cover. He then smacked Petersen over midwicket in the next over for another six. In the next over, he pulled Botha for four before Morkel deceived him with a slower delivery for which, Yuvraj had no clue.
Y Singh b M Morkel 21 off 15 balls (1x4 2x6)
Sharma has looked in a good touch so far and has been quite happy rotating the strike except for that one boundary when he lofted Morkel over the in-field. Sharma needs to play a hand reminiscent of his knock in 2007 along with Suresh Raina for India to stand a good chance.
Powerplay overs (1-6) India 36/3
After being asked to bat, India had their task cut out. Their batsmen must outscore South Africa’s by 31 runs. That would mean their batsmen must play uninhibited cricket or in their captain’s words they must “expressing themselves freely.” However quick wickets have left them in a spot of bother.
Gambhir gave an indication of his form as he cover drove Steyn off the very first ball. The next couple of boundaries came in the form off leg-byes one going down the leg-side while the other knocking his helmet as he attempted a pull and evading the keeper’s gloves.
Then came Gambhir’s dismissal, as played on trying to yank his front foot away to make room for himself and clear extra-cover.
G Gambhir b M Morkel 8 off 12 balls (1x4)
Kohli’s very brief stay started briskly with a crisp drive on the front foot. However it lasted only until Kallis was introduced in as early as the 5th over. He directed a legsidish short-ball which Kohli tried to play fine only for de Villiers pouch it diving to his left.
V Kohli c de Villiers b Kallis 2 off 6 balls
Three of Steyn’s and Morkel's deliveries went past Sehwag’s outside edge. He wasn’t convincing until he launched Petersen over long-off for a six. But he got so greedy that he shimmied down again trying to repeat the same. Petersen promptly slowed it down and shortened the length and it knocked him over.
V Sehwag b Peterson 17 off 14 balls (1x4 1x6)
de Villiers has won the toss and inserted India to bat. Dhoni, predictably, was upset at losing the toss as he wanted to bat second too. Surprisingly, he is going with an unchanged XI.
G Gambhir, V Sehwag, V Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, SK Raina, RG Sharma, MS Dhoni (Captain & wicket-keeper), IK Pathan, R Ashwin, L Balaji, Z Khan
South Africa team
HM Amla, JH Kallis, AB de Villiers (Captain & wicket-keeper), JP Duminy, F du Plessis, F Behardien, JA Morkel, J Botha, RJ Peterson, DW Steyn, M Morkel
By settling for a semifinal spot in the pursuit of what appeared a modest score, Australia have now had de Villiers & Co cursing them for knocking them out and Dhoni & Co chewing nails, counting their chances of earning semifinal spot.
While the bad news being that, the good news is that the wicket has been so slow or at least such has been Australia’s ineptitude against spin that Hafeez introduced Umar Gul as late as in the 18th over. That would send a message to Dhoni, who had earlier said that the team composition would depend on the previous match.
Given that Australia had South Africa dancing for Doherty’s tunes, India might be tempted to go with two first choice spinners. Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan might make it based on form while Balaji will have to make way for Harbhajan Singh.