Fifth One-Day International

South Africa v India, 2006

At Centurion, December 3, 2006. South Africa won by nine wickets. Toss: South Africa.

South Africa calmly achieved their fourth crushing victory of the series, thanks to a vital toss: conditions were awkward for batting at the start, but improved later. Tendulkar required all his experience to graft his way to what was only his second half-century in 20 one-day games against South Africa on their turf. Mongia struggled to 41, and although Dhoni was almost inevitably quicker, the other batsmen collectively resembled a nervous nocturnal animal frozen in the headlights of a hunting vehicle at dusk. India did reach 200 - just - for the first time in the series, but it never looked enough. After four cheap dismissals by Zaheer Khan, Smith allowed de Villiers to take the first ball, and did not face his tormentor until the ninth over. Nerves settled, Smith went on to a bristling - if not always convincing - 79. At the other end, de Villiers was entirely convincing, apart from an escape at nine when Kaif dropped him at point, and between them the openers almost finished the job. Pollock, the man of the series, came in and settled matters with three fours in one Pathan over.

Man of the Match: S. M. Pollock. Man of the Series: S. M. Pollock.

© John Wisden & Co.