3rd ODI (D/N), Cape Town, Jan 18 2011, India tour of South Africa
(48.2/50 ov, target 221)223/8
India won by 2 wickets (with 10 balls remaining)
player of the match
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• The Bulletin by Sriram Veera

Yusuf shines as India win thriller

Yusuf Pathan swung the game India's way with three brutal shots and Harbhajan Singh sealed a close win with two sixes, to give India a 2-1 lead in the series

Match centre 
Scorecard summary
South Africa220/10(49.2 overs)
India223/8(48.2 overs)
Yusuf Pathan59 (50)
Suresh Raina37 (47)
Morne Morkel3/28(10)
Dale Steyn2/31(10)

Whew, that was a thriller. Some superb bowling from Steyn and Morkel, but that was overshadowed by the lethal hitting of Yusuf, who surely has confirmed a place in the World Cup starting XI, and the nerves of steel of Harbhajan. Two clean hits for six from Harbhajan steered India to victory, just as he had in the high-profile India v Pakistan match in the Asia Cup last year.

South Africa were let down by their batting and the back-up bowling - Parnell is still short of confidence. The positives for SA was the confident debut of Faf du Plessis, though we didn't get to see much of his leg spin.

Post-match presentation:

Smith: "Obviously very disappointing, we were some 20 runs short. 240 was a good score on this wicket, full credit to Yusuf whose innings made the difference, the pitch was a bit up-and-down and there was sideways movement as well. Our last five batters managed only 19 runs and lost five wickets in the Powerplay, we could have scored 30-40 runs in that period. We just have to re-group and look to be better than we were today."

Yusuf Pathan is the Man of the Match for his quickfire half-century. "Good win for us. The hundred against NZ has made a big change in my career and also my confidence. If I get the ball in my area, I'd go for it."

MS Dhoni has a big grin on his face. "Very good effort from the lower middle order. The death bowling and Powerplay was also very good from us. We just told the youngsters to play their natural game, we want Yusuf to play the sort of game he plays. Harbhajan is kind of an allrounder for us, though we don't put the pressure on him by calling him an allrounder, and he's been bowling very well, taking the momentum away from the South Africans. Catching has been decently good, we have been outstanding so far, ground fielding has also improved a bit."

Vijay007 says: "With matches like these, who needs to go to the gym to give the heart a good workout?"

Sriram Veera has the bulletin of the match here. Do send us your six-word reports for this game. We'll publish the best ones on Page 2.

That's it from me Siddarth Ravindran, thanks for all the mails. If you are craving more cricket, hop on over to our commentary of the final day of the Pakistan-New Zealand Test which starts in around half an hour.

Botha to Nehra, FOUR runs

India have won, Nehra plays a stylish lofted on-drive to clear the in-field and get the boundary that confirms the victory, India go up 2-1 in the series, another nail-biting finish and India managed to get over the finish line despite a series of ill-judged strokes

Slip and short leg in place for Nehra

Botha to Harbhajan, 1 run

a fullish ball is hammered to long-on for a single, two to win now, batsmen have a mid-pitch conference

Botha to bowl, no more options for Smith

end of over 482 runs
INDIA: 218/8CRR: 4.54 RRR: 1.50 • Need 3 from 12b
Ashish Nehra2 (9)
Harbhajan Singh22 (24)
Wayne Parnell8-0-53-0
Morne Morkel10-0-28-3
Parnell to Nehra, no run

full ball outside off, struck on the pad outside off, there's a stifled shout for lbw, Nehra is quick to show the umpire the bat

Parnell to Nehra, no run

length ball outside off, Nehra confidently takes a big stride forward and defends towards cover

Parnell to Nehra, no run

length ball on the pads, defended to the leg side Parnell sprints across to field it, there are loud shouts of 'No, no' from the batsmen

Parnell to Nehra, no run

superb keeping from AB, that would have been game over if he missed that, it was fired in by Parnell, just beats the bat and scoots low towards AB who collects it to his left

Two slips in place

Parnell to Harbhajan, 1 run

fullish ball outside off, another edge, this time to third man for a single

Parnell to Nehra, 1 run

'Two, two' Nehra calls after tucking a full ball on middle and leg towards square leg, Harbhajan will have none of that, takes the single to get on strike

end of over 478 runs
INDIA: 216/8CRR: 4.59 RRR: 1.67 • Need 5 from 18b
Ashish Nehra1 (4)
Harbhajan Singh21 (23)
Morne Morkel10-0-28-3
Lonwabo Tsotsobe10-0-41-1
Morkel to Nehra, 1 run

short ball on legstump, Nehra tries to take evasive action, he can't evade the ball, off the ribs and past the keeper for a leg bye, Harbhajan wanted Nehra to come back for the second and is not happy that only one run was taken

One more ball for Nehra to survive

Morkel to Nehra, no run

length ball outside off, Nehra punches it off the front foot towards cover where Amla fields

Morkel to Nehra, no run

he stretches across and tries to poke a delivery outside off, luckily for him there's no edge

Two slips in place for Nehra

Morkel to Harbhajan, 1 run

bottom hand comes off as he tries another big heave, ball rolls toward midwicket

Morkel to Harbhajan, SIX runs

huge! Harbhajan gets the front leg out of the way and blasts that short of length delivery high and into the crowd beyond long-off, is that the game-sealing hit? there was no long-off, only a mid-off in place so it was quite a safe option, Rohit Sharma pumps his fist in the Indian dressing-room, South Africa have a mini-conference

Morkel to Harbhajan, no run

length ball outside off, Harbhajan waltzes across the stumps and looks to hammer that over midwicket, he's not looking to play out this over, all-out aggression from Harbhajan, can't connect on this occasion

Smith calls on Morkel. 9-0-20-3 are his figures today.

end of over 465 runs • 1 wicket
INDIA: 208/8CRR: 4.52 RRR: 3.25 • Need 13 from 24b
Ashish Nehra0 (1)
Harbhajan Singh14 (20)
Lonwabo Tsotsobe10-0-41-1
Wayne Parnell7-0-51-0

Will Morkel bowl his final over now or will Parnell continue?

Tsotsobe to Nehra, no run

a muted lbw appeal, but Nehra signals that he inside-edged that one from Tsotsobe

Tsotsobe to Khan, OUT

and that's all the swinging Zaheer will do today, another short ball from Tsotsobe, Zaheer was completely cramped for room, he tried to flat-bat that one over the in-field, can't time the ball though and the ball loops to mid-off, this match is on a knife-edge, Nehar and Munaf can't bat but all they need is some trademark Harbhajan hits

Zaheer Khan c Smith b Tsotsobe 14 (31m 25b 2x4 0x6) SR: 56
Tsotsobe to Khan, FOUR runs

Zaheer was looking for the Hollywood hit to midwicket, instead he gets a thick inside-edge off a full ball, the Chinese cut races past short fine leg and that's four priceless runs for India

Tsotsobe to Khan, no run

slower ball outside off, 111kmh, Zaheer was looking to back away and he is foxed by that one

Tsotsobe to Khan, no run

Tsotsobe escapes with a ball sliding onto the pads, fine leg and square leg are in the circle, Zaheer can't get bat on it though, AB moves quickly across to collect the ball, he had the gloves off in a jiffy and was set to throw down the stumps as well

Tsotsobe to Harbhajan, 1 run

Harbhajan gets on one knee and flat bats the ball down the ground, he immediately calls for two, but there have to settle for one

Best performances - batters
Faf du Plessis portrait
F du Plessis
60 runs (78)
2 fours
0 six
Productive shot
leg glance
25 runs
0 four
0 six
YK Pathan player pic
YK Pathan
59 runs (50)
6 fours
3 sixes
Productive shot
cut shot on back foot
14 runs
2 fours
0 six
Best performances - bowlers
Morne Morkel portrait
M Morkel
Zaheer Khan player pic
Z Khan
Match details
Newlands, Cape Town
TossSouth Africa, elected to bat first
SeriesIndia tour of South Africa
Player Of The Match
Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf Pathan
Series resultIndia led the 5-match series 2-1
Match numberODI no. 3082
Hours of play (local time)14.30 start, First Session 14.30-18.00, Interval 18.00-18.45, Second Session 18.45-22.15
Match days18 January 2011 - daynight(50-over match)
ODI debut
Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis
South Africa Image
Johan Cloete
Australia Image
Simon Taufel
TV Umpire
South Africa Image
Shaun George
Reserve Umpire
South Africa Image
Brian Jerling
Match Referee
England Image
Chris Broad