Mumbai:India have defeated South Africa by 5 wickets in the fifth and final one-day international at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, levelling the series 2-2. Indian captain Rahul Dravid was named Man of the Match and Men of The Series was awarded to Graeme Smith and Yuvraj Singh. Earlier, Dravid won the toss and elected to field first. The Indian bowlers then restricted South Africa to 221 for the loss of 6 wickets in their allotted 50 overs. Chasing 222 for victory, India suffered an early setback, losing opener Gautam Gambhir for a duck. None of the top rung batsmen were able to make a big score. But in the end, the skipper took control of the situation and guided his team to victory with an unbeaten 78, off 104 balls. First to go was Super Sub Gautam Gambhir, who faced just seven balls and lobbed a Makhaya Ntini delivery into the hands of Justin Kemp. Virender Sehwag then joined Sachin Tendulkar at the crease, and the duo put up some brilliant display of strokeplay. Sehwag was particularly harsh on Shaun Pollock. But after hitting two boundaries and a six off Pollock, Sehwag (27) was declared leg before wicket. Sachin Tendulkar's bad form in the series continued. Though Sachin managed to score 30 in his home ground, he was dismissed by Andre Nel, caught by Ashwell Prince. Dravid and Yuvraj Singh put up a 79-run partnership for the fourth wicket, but Yuvraj unluckily was out on 49. He was caught by Mark Boucher off an Andre Nel delivery. Mahender Singh Dhoni then added 12 runs on the board, but he fell to Charl Langeveldt. In the end, Mohammad Kaif (16 off 22) helped his captain reach the victory target. Kallis leads innings Earlier, the South Africans could manage to score only 221 runs with the loss of six wickets in their allotted 50 overs. The Indian bowlers restricted the visitors with some tidy bowling by Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh, with Pathan striking two early blows. At one point, South Africa were reduced to 36 for 2, and then the visitors were reduced to 77 for 3. But Jacques Kallis (91) steadied the innings when wickets kept falling at the other end. Pathan strikes Pathan struck early with a brilliant delivery in the third over of the match, sending Andrew Hall packing for 4. Then in the ninth over, Pathan struck again and Graeme Smith (24) gave a comfortable catch to Harbhajan Singh. Ashwell Prince and Jacques Kallis added some runs together, but Harbhajan Singh then struck and Prince departed for 9, caught by Yuvraj Singh. Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher added 81 runs for the fourth wicket, but a brilliant catch by Harbhajan off a Sehwag delivery ended that partnership. Mark Boucher was out for 34. Bhajji then struck with the ball and Justin Kemp was caught by Yuvraj Singh for 11 in the 45th over. Pathan then struck a third time and Kallis (91) was caught by Mohammad Kaif. India left out Suresh Raina, S Sreesanth and Jai Prakash Yadav from the 15 while making Gautam Gambhir as the Super Sub. The visitors omitted Justin Ontong, Albie Morkel and A B De Villers and opted for Robin Peterson as the Super Sub. Teams: India: Rahul Dravid (captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, M S Dhoni (wk), Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, R P Singh, Mohammad Kaif. Super sub: Gautam Gambhir. South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince, Justin Kemp, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Andrew Hall, Johan Botha, Charl Langeveldt, Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel. Super Sub: Robin Peterson.
(With PTI inputs)
Topics : Cricket