Cape Town - A burst of powerful hitting by Yusuf
Pathan spurred India to a thrilling two-wicket win in the third one-day
international against South Africa at Newlands on Tuesday.
a target of 221, India were struggling at 93 for five before Pathan
launched a savage assault against South African off-spinners Johan Botha
and JP Duminy.
On a pitch where most batsmen found it difficult
to play positive strokes, Pathan, making his first appearance in the
series, struck 59 off 50 balls as India took a 2-1 lead in the
Pathan and Suresh Raina (37) put on 75 for the sixth wicket, but both were out in quick succession to set up a tense finish.
bowler Morne Morkel took three for 26 and fellow paceman Dale Steyn
claimed two for 31, but could not stop India from getting home with ten
balls to spare. Harbhajan Singh made a crucial 23 not out, including two
The match changed dramatically in the 28th over of the
Indian innings when Pathan, on six, edged Botha for a four between
wicketkeeper AB de Villiers and captain Graeme Smith at slip.
swept the next delivery and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, running in from the
boundary to try to take a catch, misjudged the ball and it went for
In the next over from Duminy, Pathan again swept in
the air and Morkel also misjudged the ball in contemplating a catch, with another boundary the result.
Then Pathan struck three sixes off four balls from Botha, all sailing over deep mid-wicket.
an untypical Newlands pitch, South Africa struggled to 220 all out with
newcomer Francois 'Faf' du Plessis and JP Duminy putting on 110 as they
rescued a floundering innings.
Du Plessis made 60 and Duminy 52 on a pitch of inconsistent pace and bounce.
The pair came together with their side in trouble at 90 for four in the 24th over.
put on 110 off 129 balls before Du Plessis slipped as he went down the
wicket to attack Munaf Patel and sliced a catch to cover.
Plessis, 26, a former schoolboy team-mate of de Villiers who has been
signed to play for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League,
made his runs off 78 balls.
He showed composure at the crease, and the only sign of nerves came when he needed treatment for cramps in his forearm.
Plessis was out in the first over of the batting powerplay, which was
taken in the 45th over, and as in the second international in
Johannesburg, the lifting of fielding restrictions heralded a flurry of
Duminy was bowled in the next over and the innings folded rapidly, the last six wickets falling for 20 runs.
Zaheer Khan, with three for 43, and Singh led a superb Indian bowling performance, which was backed up by good fielding.
repeatedly beat South African captain Graeme Smith with swing and
movement off the pitch, although Smith survived to make a laboured 43
off 79 balls before falling to Harbhajan's off-spin.
Khan also took a spectacular diving catch in the outfield to dismiss De Villiers.
Harbhajan mesmerised the batsmen, taking two for 23 in nine overs, helped by two diving slip catches by Virat Kohli.