Cool Kallis sees Proteas home

By Graeme Mair  

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First One Day International
Belfast
India 242-8 Innings Complete (S R Tendulkar 99, R Dravid 74) v South Africa 245-6 (J H Kallis 91 no)
South Africa beat India by 4 wkts

A perfectly paced innings of 91 not out from stand-in captain Jacques Kallis guided South Africa to a four-wicket success in the first one-day international against India in Belfast.

Kallis, leading the side in the absence of Graeme Smith, struck six fours during a 116-ball knock that allowed the Proteas to reach a victory target of 243 with three balls to spare.

India posted 242-8 after being asked to bat in difficult conditions, Sachin Tendulkar providing the backbone of the innings on the occasion of his 386th one-day appearance.

Tendulkar, opening the batting, ran himself out one short of a century to leave him just 50 runs away from becoming the first batsman to make 15,000 ODI runs.

South African paceman Andre Nel (3-47) removed Sourav Ganguly (13) and Gautam Gambhir (0) in cloudy conditions with the new ball, before Tendulkar repaired the early damage in the company of skipper Rahul Dravid.

The third-wicket pair shared a partnership of 158 in 32 overs before Dravid was bowled for 74 to become Nel's third victim in the 44th over of the innings.

And Tendulkar followed two overs later when, just one agonising run short of a 42nd ODI ton, he unwisely called for a second to the arm of Morne van Wyk.

Those two wickets stalled India's momentum and a final total of 242-8 was a slight disappointment for Dravid's men.

Van Wyk gave South Africa's chase a strong start, sharing an opening partnership of 56 with Abraham de Villiers, and 43 with Kallis for second wicket.

But the opening batsman's departure for 44 from a leading edge against teenage leg-spinner Piyush Chawla left the run-scoring burden firmly on the shoulders of Kallis.

He was up to the challenge, and, after Chawla had worked his way through the middle-order for figures of 3-47, eventually found a willing ally in Vernon Philander (17no).

The seventh-wicket pair came together with the score at 190-6 and shared an unbroken partnership of 55 to see South Africa to their target in the final over.

The result puts South Africa 1-0 ahead in the three-match series, with the second and third matches also taking place in Belfast on June 29 and July 1.

 

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