Suresh Raina overcame a jittery period of mis-hits and short-pitched bowling, scoring 82 off the last 38 balls he faced, en route to only the third century in Twenty20 internationals. Thanks to Raina's knock, India scored 186, which was always going to be too much on a difficult pitch and a slow and big outfield.
From the time he came to bat in the first over, Raina was given a fair share of back-of-a-length deliveries. By the time India's both irregular openers, in absence of Gautam Gambhir (down with diarrhoea), ended their struggle, Raina had survived a catch off a Morne Morkel no-ball. He would go on to survive run-out attempts from Smith and AB de Villiers, when on 37 and 47.
The introduction of spin, when Raina was 19 off 22, was what turned it around. In the ninth over, Roelof van der Merwe's first and only, Raina played two lovely inside-out drives to get six off two deliveries. The first ball of the next over, Raina guessed a back-of-a-length delivery, backed away and slogged Kallis for six. His best shot was when he made room against a near yorker from Albie Morkel in the next over and squeezed it wide of point for four.
By the time Yuvraj Singh skied one to hand, Raina, having put in the struggle, the ugly moments, was there in a position to cash in. Steyn, underused in the first half of the innings, came back well, but he was now limiting damage as opposed to causing it.
Rory Kleinveldt, who got M Vijay in the first over and Yuvraj later, was the one who suffered the most. And he was asking for it too, bowling either length or full tosses in the 18th over, and was hit to such varied areas as midwicket, cow corner, extra cover, straight over his head, and over long-off. Twenty-five came off that over, during which Raina moved from 75 to 93. He reached his century with a slogged six in the final over, which went for 19.
Raina will cherish this knock all the more because the pitch interested a variety of bowlers. South Africa had managed to assume a strong position with their hit-the-deck bowlers, India were about to do so with the spinners.