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Ken Borland

Rain returns to stop SA ball-chasing

Posted on April 02, 2012 by Ken

The rain returned to the Wanderers to stop South Africa’s ball-chasing as India raced to 71 without loss in 7.5 overs in their New Age Friendship Cup match in Johannesburg on Friday.

8th over – Gautam Gambhir provides India’s score with a late boost before the rain, top-edging a hook off Wayne Parnell for four and then lashing the next ball through the covers for four as he was offered too much width. Sadly for them, it’s not enough as India are still 14 runs behind the Duckworth/Lewis target.

7th over – Captain Johan Botha brings himself on to stem the bleeding, but Robin Uthappa steps out of his crease and drives the off-spinner’s first ball crisply through extra cover for four. Gautam Gambhir also collects a boundary, late-cutting Botha beautifully to third man for four.

4th over – Gambhir greets Rusty Theron’s introduction by bashing his first ball straight down the ground for four. Two balls later, the on-fire left-hander pulls a ball kindly placed on his hips behind square for four.

2nd over – Magnificent batting by Gambhir as he hammers Albie Morkel for four, six and four! The left-hander starts with a stylish cut that has tremendous power behind it, point getting a hand to the ball as he dived, but it still races away for four. Morkel then bowls short and wide and Gambhir lashes an uppercut over third man for six, before punching a drive through the covers for four.

South Africa innings

India were left aghast as South Africa plundered 219 for four in their New Age Friendship Cup T20 match at the BidVest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Friday.

20th over – Suresh Raina bowls the final over and Justin Ontong drives the first ball sweetly over extra cover for four, before slog-sweeping the second delivery for a mighty six. WICKET – Raina’s next ball is quicker and flatter though, and this time Ontong misses the slog-sweep and is bowled for a quickfire 22 off seven balls. That serves to dispel the myth that he can’t hit the ball at the death! Albie Morkel comes in and just punches his first ball away on the leg-side, perhaps to get Behardien back on strike … but look! It’s gone for six! That just shows Morkel’s amazing ability. The powerful left-hander then ends the innings in style by flicking a short, leg-side delivery away for four and then powers a straight drive through the hands of Ravichandran Ashwin at long-on, low and flat for six!

19th over – Justin Ontong latches on to a fullish delivery from Irfan Pathan and blazes it through the covers for four.

18th over – WICKET – Suresh Raina has been the best of the Indian bowlers and he gets his reward as Colin Ingram slog-sweeps to deeep midwicket, Rohit Sharma’s third catch – an Indian record – being a good effort diving forward. Ingram’s career-best 78 off 50 balls, with eight fours and three sixes, was nevertheless a fantastic display of his undeniable talent and has put South Africa in a powerful position. Only five runs have come from the over, but Ontong ends it in style as he slog-sweeps his second ball for six.

17th over – Spectacular batting by Ingram! Vinay Kumar pitches full and wide and the left-hander square-drives him over backward point for six. Vinay responds with a rubbish ball down leg which Ingram turns fine for four, before cutting, again with superb timing, for four. Farhaan Behardien ends the over with his first boundary in South African colours, a trademark drive through extra cover for a splendid four.

15th over – Wonderful cricket by Ingram as he dances down the pitch to Ashwin and drives him magnificently over long-on for six. WICKET – India finally break the second-wicket stand of 119 off 81 balls as Jacques Kallis tries to slog-sweep the off-spinner, but the ball just slides on, the shot is cramped and Rohit takes the catch on the midwicket boundary. Kallis played an innings to remember on his tribute night – 61 off 42 balls – and is perhaps the only batsmen who could play like that 48 hours after flying halfway around the world!

14th over – India turn to the part-time nothingness that is Virat Kohli and what an over it is for South Africa! Kallis collects three successive boundaries, the first bringing up his half-century off just 36 balls as Ravichandran Ashwin makes a mess of a lofted drive on the long-on boundary, the ball spinning away and dribbling on to the rope. Kallis lashes the next ball through the covers to bring up the century stand – the first for South Africa against India – off just 72 balls and then plays a magnificent cover drive, picking the gap brilliantly between the wide long-off and the cover sweeper for his fifth four to go with a pair of sixes. Ingram also brings up his maiden T20 international half-century in the over, off 38 balls, with six fours and a six.

12th over – Off-spinner Rohit is the seventh bowler used and Kallis heaves him superbly over midwicket for six. Clever cricket by Ingram brings him four more runs as he comes down the pitch and drives inside-out over extra cover.

11th over – Another super shot by Ingram as Ashwin bowls a fraction short and the left-hander swings him sweetly over square-leg for six.

8th over – Yusuf Pathan comes on to bowl his darts and Kallis collects the first six of the evening. And it’s massive, the honouree launching a slightly-overpitched delivery majestically over long-on.

7th over – Praveen Kumar returns and bowls a full toss which Ingram dispatches over wide mid-on for four.

6th over – The first bit of spin for the innings and Ingram sweeps off-spinner Ashwin fine for four.

5th over – Too short from Vinay and Kallis gives himself room outside leg-stump and clatters the ball through point for his first boundary. Kallis ends the over with a shot of pure strength – standing still in the crease and short-arm jabbing an in-swinger over the head of deep mid-on for another four.

4th over – Ingram advances a couple of steps down the pitch to Irfan and punches him handsomely through the covers for four.

2nd over – Richard Levi now has 19 off just six balls, including four fours as he slaps his first delivery from Irfan through mid-off for four and then pulls through the diving midwicket for another boundary. WICKET – A change of angle does the trick for India, however, as left-armer Irfan comes over the wicket and bowls back of a length, finding the edge of Levi’s bat as he prodded at the delivery angled across him, Rohit Sharma taking a low catch at slip. It was the first defensive stroke Levi played, perhaps that was the problem! Colin Ingram times his first ball beautifully as he steers Irfan through point with an impressive square-drive for four.

1st over – A sensational start by Levi! The first ball of the match from Praveen is driving confidently straight down the ground for three runs by Levi. Kallis, as is his wont, then takes a couple of balls before getting off the mark with a single pushed into the covers. Levi’s second ball is hoisted over extra cover for four and then he shows wonderful touch and skill as he chops a ball down through the vacant gully for another boundary.

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