India v South Africa commentary

Last updated: 2nd October 2012  

India v South Africa commentary

India beat South Africa by one run Take the context away, and you're left with a superb game of cricket. But alas you can't take context away and the thrilling conclusion to the match was played in a curious atmosphere with both teams knowing their tournament was over. Down to the last four now, with Sri Lanka facing Pakistan and Australia taking on West Indies on Thursday and Friday. Join us again for those.

WICKET! M Morkel b Balaji 6 What a finish! Morne Morkel follows the pattern established by Albie as he smashes a six but then has his off stump knocked back to hand India victory by one run! Both teams heading home but they've served up a cracking old game to conclude the Super Eights.

WICKET! A Morkel b Balaji 10 What a finish this would be if anyone was remotely interested. Morkel clouts Balaji over the ropes at midwicket to make the equation eight from five but is bowled by a yorker next ball. Morne replaces Albie.

Over 19 - South Africa 139/8 (A Morkel 4, Steyn 0) Albie Morkel gets a single from Ashwin's last ball so will have the strike for the final over, with 14 runs needed for a consolation victory.

WICKET! Botha c Raina b Ashwin 8 Botha gives South Africa hope with a glorious six down the ground but is then caught at long-off trying to repeat the dose. Eighth wicket down with South Africa needing 15 runs off seven balls.

Over 18 - South Africa 128/7 (A Morkel 1, Botha 1) Albie Morkel and Johan Botha both off the mark with singles, but that's a stunning over from Zaheer. He ends with 3/22 from his four overs, and South Africa need 24 runs from the last two overs to avoid going home with three Super Eight defeats.

WICKET! Peterson b Khan Two in two for Khan as his yorker pegs back Peterson's off stump. Too little, too late for India, but they're well placed to at least win this match now.

WICKET! Behardien c Raina b Khan Behardien pays the price for timing the ball too well as a little chip down the ground carries all the way to Raina at long-off. Curious atmosphere here: a really close finish in a game between India and South Africa in Colombo, with all the noise being made by Pakistan fans.

Over 17 - South Africa 126/5 (Behardien 13, Peterson 9) South Africa reach 122 to huge cheers from the Pakistan fans in the crowd. India are out, Pakistan are through to Thursday's first semi-final where they will face hosts Sri Lanka. Australia play West Indies on Friday. Behardien slaps the last ball of the over for four down the ground, and South Africa are still chasing victory here; they need 27 runs from the last three overs.

Over 16 - South Africa 113/5 (Behardien 7, Peterson 4) Peterson gets a huge let-off as he chips the ball to square-leg but is reprieved when replays show Ashwin has comfortably overstepped. Unforgivable for any bowler to overstep in T20 cricket, but truly shocking for a step and fetch it like Ashwin. Two 'wickets' in two balls as Peterson aims a big reverse-slog at the free-hit and is bowled. He finally plays a sensible cricket shot next ball and picks up two over cover.

Over 15 - South Africa 107/5 (Behardien 6) Looks increasingly likely that India will record a bittersweet victory here.

WICKET! Duminy c Gambhir b Balaji 16 A good over from Balaji - just three singles from five balls - and the pressure tells as Duminy goes for a big shot to finish and picks out Gambhir on the square-leg fence.

Over 14 - South Africa 104/4 (Duminy 15, Behardien 4) Pakistan fans starting to party in the stands now. They're almost there as Ashwin's over goes for six runs. Good, tight bowling, but not good enough for India at this stage.

Over 13 - South Africa 98/4 (Duminy 11, Behardien 2) New batsman Behardien off the mark straight away. Yuvraj has picked up eight wickets in the tournament now, but it doesn't look like he'll have the chance for any more.

WICKET! Du Plessis c Raina v Yuvraj 65 A fantastic knock comes to an end as du Plessis holes out to Raina at long-off for 65 from 38 balls. Gives India renewed hope of winning the game, but surely comes too late to allow them any hope of qualification with South Africa needing just 27 more runs to knock India out and with plenty of time to get them.

Over 12 - South Africa 90/3 (du Plessis 61. Duminy 9) One-man show this at the moment. Lakshmipathy Balaji into the attack, and probably straight back out of it again as du Plessis smashes him for successive boundaries over midwicket.

Du Plessis reaches a superb half-century in streaky style as he runs down the track at Yuvraj but is beaten in the flight. He manages, though, to get the inside edge to the ball and send it runnnig away to the boundary. India's fielding looking ragged now; they know the game is up.

Over 10 - South Africa 73/3 (du Plessis 47, Duminy 6) R Ashwin into the attack now. Surely should've bowled ahead of Sharma, but too late to worry about that now. Another tight over, but India need wickets.

Over 9 - South Africa 68/3 (du Plessis 43, Duminy 5) Better over for India as Yuvraj concedes only five. But they probably need to bowl South Africa out know to reach the semi-finals.

Over 8 - South Africa 63/3 (du Plessis 39, Duminy 4) Du Plessis is inspired here. A couple of well-controlled paddle sweeps bring him successive twos before he comfortably clears the man at deep midwicket to pick up six more. Sharma's first over costs 13.

Over 7 - South Africa 50/3 (du Plessis 27, Duminy 3) New batsman JP Duminy picks up a two and a single before du Plessis hits down the ground for a single to bring up South Africa's 50 at the end of the seventh over. They're currently well on course to at least reach the 122 runs needed to eliminate India, but a couple more wickets would change that.

WICKET! de Villiers b Yuvraj 13 Wicket for Yuvraj with his first ball. It's a slow, gentle left-arm spinner that de Villiers somehow manages to chop into his own stumps.

Over 6 - South Africa 46/2 (de Villiers 13, du Plessis 26) Faf du Plessis, Pakistan hero. Couldn't buy a run in England a month or so ago, but du Plessis is knocking India out of the World Twenty20 here as he laces two more boundaries over the offside field and adds three more twos to collect 14 runs from the over. Pathan kept offering width, and du Plessis kept gratefully smashing it.

Over 5 - South Africa 32/2 (de Villiers 13, du Plessis 12) Big over for South Africa off Khan as du Plessis picks up a pair of twos on the offside before slotting a length ball over the ropes at long-of for the first six of the innings.

Over 4 - South Africa 21/2 (de Villiers 13, du Plessis 1) Faf du Plessis is the new batsman. He's off the mark with a single before de Villiers capitalises on some width from Pathan and slaps a four through cover off the back foot.

WICKET! Kallis c Sharma b Pathan 6 Pakistan fans looking concerned in the Premadasa as Kallis chips a Pathan inswinger to midwicket where Sharma takes a straightforward catch.

Over 3 - South Africa 16/1 (Kallis 6, de Villiers 9) De Villiers flays Khan over extra-cover for four and hits through midwicket for two more, but the other four balls in the over are dot balls and India still have control of this powerplay.

Over 2 - South Africa 10/1 (Kallis 6, de Villiers 3) Irfan Pathan shares the new ball and gets plenty of swing back into the right-handers. This produces a big lbw shout against Kallis - going over the top - and a clip through midwicket for four.

Over 1 - South Africa 2/1 (Kallis 0, de Villiers 2) AB de Villiers in at three, and he's off the mark with a clip through square-leg for two after surviving a big lbw shout to a ball pitching just outside leg.

WICKET! Amla c Sehwag b Khan 0 What a start for India as Hashim Amla falls to the second ball of the innings. Zaheer Khan pushed it across the right-hander and found the outside edge, with Sehwag taking a smart low catch at slip.

India 152/5 South Africa need 153 runs to win at 7.65 runs per over. More importantly, the magic number for India and Pakistan is 121. That's what India must restrict the Proteas to in order to get ahead of Pakistan on NRR and take the final spot in the semi-finals.

Over 20 - India 152/5 (Dhoni 23) After three singles from Kallis' over, Dhoni gets a sweep away to the square-leg boundary to bring up India's 150. He tries the helicopter shot next but can only send it scudding along the ground to long-on for a single. WICKET! Raina run out 45: Raina hits the last ball of the over down the ground and tries to run two but is short of his ground despite de Villiers needing two attempts to dislodge the bails.

Over 19 - India 143/5 (Raina 42, Dhoni 17) Big over this for Dhoni and India. Could yet prove crucial. The India skipper clubs Steyn over midwicket for four and then scampers two for a thick outside edge to third-man. The next ball is a short ball from Steyn, and Dhoni baseballs it straight back past the bowler and a frantically ducking umpire for four more. Another slog towards cow corner brings Dhoni two runs as Duminy fumbles on a slightly tatty part of the outfield before a pull shot brings a couple more to make it 14 from the over for Dhoni and India. Steyn's figures take a bit of a hit, but he's still gone for only 26 in his four overs.

Over 18 - India 129/5 (Raina 42, Dhoni 3) India looked poised for a late flurry a few overs ago, but South Africa have put the squeeze on to good effect in the last few overs. That building pressure should've produced the wicket of Raina for Kallis, but Farhaan Behardien puts down a simple catch at deep midwicket. Raina gets two for that, and thrashes the next ball to the fence at midwicket.

Over 17 - India 119/5 (Raina 34, Dhoni 1) Steyn back to bowl, presumably, overs 17 and 19. Mid-off is inside the circle so Raina goes over him for four, but that's the only big hit India can get away in the over.

Over 16 - India 112/5 (Raina 28) MS Dhoni strides out to join Raina in the middle. India need a massive last four overs here. South Africa, meanwhile, have used seven bowlers and Albie Morkel is not among them. Must've been recalled as a specialist batsman.

WICKET! Sharma lbw b Peterson 25 Brilliant from Peterson. With the first five balls of his final over yielding just three singles, a big shot had to come. Sharma goes for the slog-sweep, misses and is hit on the back leg in front of everything. Simple leg-before decision.

Over 15 - India 109/4 (Sharma 24, Raina 26) Good first over from JP Duminy, restricting Raina and Sharma to six singles.

Over 14 - India 103/4 (Sharma 21, Raina 23) Lovely shot from Sharma, using the pace from Botha to glide the ball down to the third-man boundary. Raina then brings up the 100 with yet another in-to-out drive over extra-cover. The footwork is immaculate and allows him to hit a big gap in the field. Botha ends the over with a full-toss that Raina hits down the ground for a couple, du Plessis doing superbly well to flick the ball back before his knee hits the ropes. Good over, though. Run-rate going the right way for India, and the wrong way for Pakistan.

Over 13 - India 90/4 (Sharma 16, Raina 15) Raina looking to press the accelerator here, driving inside-out over cover again but getting only two thanks to good work on the rope by Steyn before whipping the next ball behind square-leg for four.

Over 12 - India 81/4 (Sharma 15, Raina 8) Morkel gets away with a free hit after a no-ball, sending a bumper past Raina's grille and flailing bat, before Botha almost takes a sensational catch running back from mid-on. Sharma goes for the big shot but gets more height than distance. Botha runs back, dives and grabs hold of the ball but agonisingly it pops out as he lands. Raina clubs the next ball back past the bowler, and almost takes Morkel out. An eventful over ends with Raina giving himself room and driving over cover and just short of the rope for four runs. Morne Morkel's work is done; he ends with 2/28 from his four overs.

Over 11 - India 71/4 (Sharma 13, Raina 1) Faf du Plessis is an average bowler but an excellent fielder. The second part is crucial here as he makes two fantastic run-saving stops off his own bowling to sneak one through at a cost of just three runs.

Over 10 - India 68/4 (Sharma 11) Sharma hit a lovely boundary earlier in the over, lifting Morkel over mid-off for a one-bounce four. But India look to be heading home.

WICKET! Yuvraj Singh b M Morkel 21 Morne Morkel returns and strikes with the final ball of his third over, sneaking a slower ball between bat and pad and into the off stump. Yuvraj completely deceived there.

Over 9 - India 61/3 (Sharma 5, Yuvraj 20) Yuvraj just about keeping India's hopes alive here as he whips Botha through midwicket for four. Hit that outrageously well - Kallis only had a few yards to cover on the midwicket fence but couldn't make it.

Over 8 - India 53/3 (Sharma 3, Yuvraj 14) Another superb six from Yuvraj, this time getting down on one knee to sweep Peterson high over the ropes at midwicket. India need plenty more of that.

Over 7 - India 45/3 (Sharma 2, Yuvraj 7) A gorgeous, effortless swing of the bat brings Yuvraj Singh six over wide long-off, but Johan Botha responds in style, fizzing a big-spinning delivery past the outside edge.

Over 6 - India 36/3 (Sharma 0, Yuvraj 0) Two batsmen on nought now for India, whose semi-final hopes may have gone already after a terrible powerplay. They're effectively 4/3 here.

WICKET! Sehwag b Peterson 17 Sehwag smokes Robin Peterson for a huge six over long-on but is then drawn down the track trying to repeat the shot, gets nowhere near the pitch and has an ugly, desperate hack that misses the ball which in turn hits the off stump.

Over 5 - India 30/2 (Sehwag 11, Sharma 0) Rohit Sharma the new batsman. There are plenty of Pakistan fans in the crowd waving South African flags, and so far the Proteas are doing their fellow boys in green proud.

WICKET! Kohli c de Villiers b Kallis 2 Jacques Kallis claims the big wicket as Kohli fails to get out of the way of a short ball at his ribs and gloves the ball down the legside for a diving de Villiers to snaffle. India in early trouble, Pakistan looking good for the last four.

Over 4 - India 25/1 (Sehwag 6, Kohli 2) In-form Virat Kohli off the mark in confident style with a push through the covers for two runs, but this is not the start India needed.

WICKET! Gambhir b M Morkel 8 The pressure was building after that Steyn over, and it tells here as Gambhir looks to manufacture something by backing away but succeeds only in having his middle stump knocked back.

Over 3 - India 22/0 (Gambhir 8, Sehwag 5) Superb over from Steyn, only leg-byes from it. The last ball is a bumper that's too quick for Gambhir's attempted pull shot and flies away to the fine-leg boundary via the batsman's body.

Over 2 - India 17/0 (Gambhir 8, Sehwag 5) Gamhir takes a stop-start but eventually safe single from Morne Morkel's first ball before Sehwag saunters a couple of legside twos as the bowler fails to adjust his line to the right-hander. Sehwag adds a single before Gambhir picks up two with an astonishing shot, backing away and clothing the ball back over Morkel's head but out of mid-on's reach.

Over 1 - India 9/0 (Gambhir 5, Sehwag 0) Great start for India as Gautam Gambhir slaps Dale Steyn's first delivery to the cover fence before Hashim Amla fails to prevent a legside delivery finding the rope via Gambhir's pads. Steyn swinging the ball into the left-hander, but again gets his line wrong and is knocked away for an easy single on the legside. That inswing to the southpaw becomes outswing to the right-handed Virender Sehwag who is beaten outside off to conclude the over.

Anthems The players are out in the middle for the national anthems.

India G Gambhir, V Sehwag, V Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, RG Sharma, MS Dhoni (capt, wk), SK Raina, IK Pathan, R Ashwin, L Balaji, Z Khan.

South Africa HM Amla, JH Kallis, AB de Villiers (capt, wk), JP Duminy, F du Plessis, F Behardien, JA Morkel, J Botha, RJ Peterson, DW Steyn, M Morkel.

Teams Two changes for South Africa: Faf du Plessis replaces Richard Levi, Albie Morkel comes in for Wayne Parnell. India unchanged.

The Toss South Africa win the toss and choose to bowl first. So India's task gets a bit trickier; slightly easier to control these target-within-a-target situations when batting second I reckon. De Villiers may have won the toss, but looks far from happy. His side, he admits, are playing "for pride". The worst thing a team can be playing for, as it means there is nothing else.

Target It looks like India will need to win by 31 runs if they bat first, or with four overs to spare if they are chasing.

Maths Pakistan beat Australia by 32 runs; reckon India will need a similar margin over South Africa to reach the semi-finals, but we're still waiting for an official number.

Welcome It's the final match of the Super Eight stage here in Colombo, with Pakistan's win over Australia earlier meaning South Africa are now out of the running. Australia got close enough (just) to their target to ensure their spot in the last four, but India can still deny Pakistan, but only with a big victory over the Proteas. This is less cricket than it is a maths exam. We'll let you know just how big India's victory needs to be once the boffins have finished fiddling with the abacus.

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet