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Jan 19, 2011

Boom Boom Pathan powers India to thrilling two-wicket win

A burst of powerful hitting by Boom Boom Yusuf Pathan spurred India to a thrilling two-wicket win in the 3rd ODI match against South Africa at Newlands on Tuesday.

Chasing a target of 221, India was struggling at 93 for five before Yusuf Pathan launched a savage attack against South African off-spinners Johan Botha and JP Duminy.

Yusuf PathanOn a pitch where most batsmen found it difficult to play optimistic strokes, Pathan, making his first appearance in the series, struck 59 off 50 balls as India took a 2-1 lead in the five-match ODI series.

Pathan and Suresh Raina (37) put on 75 for the 6th wicket but both were out in quick succession to set up a tense finish.

Paceman Morne Morkel took 3/26 and fellow fast bowler Dale Steyn getting 2/31 but could not stop India from getting home with ten balls to spare. Harbhajan Singh made a crucial 23 not out, including two sixes.

The match changed dramatically in the 28th over of the Indian innings when Pathan, on six, edged Botha for a four between wicketkeeper AB de Villiers and skipper Graeme Smith at slip.

Pathan swept the next delivery and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, running in from the boundary to try to take a catch, miscalculated the ball and it went for another boundary.

In the next over from JP Duminy, Pathan again swept in the air and Morkel also miscalculated the ball in thinking a catch and it went for another four.

Then Pathan struck three sixes off four balls from Botha, all sailing over a fielder at deep mid-wicket.

On an untypical Newlands pitch, South Africa struggled to 220 all out with newcomer Francois 'Faf' du Plessis and JP Duminy putting on 110 as they rescued a floundering innings.

Du Plessis made 60 and Duminy 52 on a pitch of inconsistent pace and bounce.

Man of the Match: Yusuf Pathan

Jan 18, 2011

Watson seals Australia win with 6

A terrific solo effort by Shane Watson with the bat enabled Australia to overcome a poor fielding effort and beat England in the opening ODI match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Shane WatsonOne of the few Australians to emerge with his reputation intact after the Ashes disaster, Watson's brilliant unbeaten 161 enabled the home side to chase down England's imposing total of 294 from 49.4 overs with five balls to spare.

Fittingly, Watson hit the winning runs from the first ball of the last over, lofting Ajmal Shahzad over long-on for six to take Australia to 297-4.

He and Brad Haddin laid the foundation for the win with a 110-run partnership, although another scratchy innings by skipper Michael Clarke threatened to ruin the chase.

Clarke put on 103 with Watson for the 2nd wicket, but again looked sadly out of form and often earned ironical cheers from the crowd when he managed to score as he eked out 36 from 57 balls.

The solo crack of Watson, dropped on 44 by Jonathan Trott from the bowling of Chris Tremlett at mid-on, spared Australian blushes after a hapless performance in the field.

Kevin Pietersen led the way for England, who won the toss and elected to bat, with 78 from 75 balls with three sixes.

Just over a month out from their World Cup defence, the Australians offered up dropped catches, missed stumpings, botched run outs and wickets from no-balls, as well as 14 wides.

Jan 17, 2011

Battling India seal dramatic one-run victory

India made an astonishing recovery to take a one-run victory over South Africa in the 2nd ODI match at the Wanderers Stadium on Saturday to level the five-match series at one match each.

Munaf Patel took two wickets in what proved to be the final over to finish with four for 29, with Yuvraj Singh taking a low catch at gully to end the match when Wayne Parnell cut powerfully in an attempt to score the winning runs.

Munaf PatelSouth Africa seemed in control when they made an aggressive start to their innings after Lonwabo Tsotsobe produced career-best bowling figures of four for 22 as India were bowled out for 190 on what is usually a high-scoring ground.

skipper Graeme Smith and JP Duminy took South Africa to within 71 runs of victory with seven wickets in hand and less than half the overs used up.

But Duminy played a rash shot against part-time off-spinner Rohit Sharma and was caught at long-on.

It still looked comfortable for the hosts as Smith and David Miller added 32.

But as with the Indian innings, the batting powerplay proved disastrous for the batting side.

Smith was out to the first ball of the powerplay, bowled off an inside edge by man of the match Patel for 77 and Miller went in the next over when he top-edged an attempted pull against a slower bouncer by Zaheer Khan.

South Africa lost their last six wickets for 37 runs in what was almost an action replay of the Indian innings.

"We played some good cricket for 70 overs of the game," said Smith, who was captaining South Africa for a record 139th time.

"Some of our decision making at the back end of the game wasn't good enough but Munaf bowled really well."

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose side had lost their last six wickets for 21 runs, said: "It's a big win for us. We were 40 to 45 runs short in our innings but the bowlers bowled in the right areas and put a lot of pressure on the South African batsmen."

Dhoni said the the bowling of off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who took one for 32 in ten overs, had changed the game.

"The South African batsmen had momentum when he came on and they lost momentum against him."

Tsotsobe led a superb performance by the South African bowlers and fielders after India won the toss and batted.

Yuvraj Singh made 53 and Dhoni scored 38 but neither batsman was able to dominate during a 4th wicket stand of 83 off 107 balls.

Jan 13, 2011

SA won by 135 runs against India

South Africa's faster’s struck early to set up a complete 135-run win in the first ODI international against India at Kingsmead on Wednesday.

Chasing a target of 290, India's hopes were efficiently ended when they were reduced to 43 for four in the 11th over. Despite a half- century by Virat Kohli they were bowled out for 154.

Virat Kohli"We were outplayed completely," admitted Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

"We were superb with the ball," said South African skipper Graeme Smith.

Dale Steyn dismissed Murali Vijay in the first over and left-arm bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe picked up the key wicket of Sachin Tendulkar three overs later.

Morne Morkel, who came on as first change, took two wickets in one over as the Indian batsmen failed to come to terms with the pace and bounce of a Kingsmead pitch with a reputation for being more lively in the 2nd innings of day-night games.

Lonwabo TsotsobeTsotsobe went on to claim 4 for 31 runs, while fellow Steyn and Morkel took two each and left-arm fast bowler Wayne Parnell took one.

Hashim Amla got the South African innings off to a fast start, scoring 50 off 36 balls with eight fours but the home side's total of 289 for nine was built around a 131-run 4th wicket partnership between AB de Villiers (76 off 69 balls) and JP Duminy(73 off 89 balls).

While they were together South Africa looked on target for a total of more than 300 but both fell to the part-time off-spin of Rohit Sharma instead of cashing in towards the end of the innings.

Man of the match: Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Jan 12, 2011

England in Australia ODI Series 2011, Schedule

DateMatch DetailsTime (IST)Place
T20i Schedule
Jan 12 - WedAustralia v England, 1st T20I14:05Adelaide
Jan 14 - FriAustralia v England, 2nd T20I14:05Melbourne
ODI Schedule
Jan 16 - SunAustralia v England, 1st ODI08:50Melbourne
Jan 21 - FriAustralia v England, 2nd ODI08:50Hobart
Jan 23 - SunAustralia v England, 3rd ODI08:50Sydney
Jan 26 - WedAustralia v England, 4th ODI08:50Adelaide
Jan 30 - SunAustralia v England, 5th ODI08:50Brisbane
Feb 02 - WedAustralia v England, 6th ODI08:50Sydney
Feb 06 - SunAustralia v England, 7th ODI08:50Perth

Win in SA ODI Series could push India to Top ODI team

With the World Cup just around the corner, India will have their eyes on the rankings as a win in the five-match ODI series against South Africa could help India go into the World Cup as the number one ODI team.

Presently ranked 2nd in the ICC ODI rankings, India are likely to face stiff competition for the top spot from top ranked Australia, world number four South Africa and fifth ranked England, and according to the ICC website, any of these four teams could start the cricket's flagship event as the number one team.

Even as India lock horns with South Africa from Wednesday, Australia will resume their competition with traditional rivals England in a 7-match ODI series starting on Sunday.

Third ranked Sri Lanka could also get to the top spot although pre-event fixtures have not yet been confirmed.

Jan 11, 2011

Praveen Kumar in doubt for 1st ODI against SA

Praveen is in doubt for tomorrow's ODI Cricket match against South Africa due to a hand injury. He turned up with a heavily bandaged bowling arm during the T20 Cricket match at Durban.

He joins an already injury plagued Indian squad that has seen the likes of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir return home. S. Sreesanth is currently nursing a tennis elbow and is also in doubt for the opening ODI.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, a team source stated that Praveen forced an old injury during the T20 match on Sunday and he is out of the first ODI. He may want close to two weeks to recover.

India skipper M.S. Dhoni put up a brave face when he was inquired about the injuries that had beleaguered this Indian squad.

"It's better that we miss the key players in the ODI series rather than in the World Cup. Hopefully, we will have a fully fit squad ahead of the big event," he said.