Historic win for India

When Makhaya Ntini slogged Zaheer Khan to Virender Sehwag, it secured a 123-run triumph for India. But just a week ago, this seemed all but impossible, as India’s batsmen struggled to come to terms with the South African bowling attack in helpful conditions.

Much of the hard work had already been done, but South Africa still had a chance of sneaking an amazing win. The chances soon dwindled; Mark Boucher was lbw to Zaheer Khan in the third over.

With the target still well over 200, Shaun Pollock came in all guns blazing at number eight. He scored a cameo of 40 off 41 balls, including a big six of Zaheer and six boundaries. He and Prince added 67. They took at the advantage of some sloppy fielding, and the fact that Sreesanth and Zaheer were off the field at times receiving treatment.

It was Anil Kumble who would finish things off for India, as he has done so many times in the past. Pollock took an ugly swipe and was bowled, to leave Prince with the tail. Prince opened up a little more but failed to reach a century, a yorker from Kumble beating him on 97. This was the veteran spinner’s third wicket of the day, to add to the slightly dubious lbw of Andre Nel, which was a splendid googly nonetheless. All that was left was for Zaheer Khan to cast the final blow, and for India to end a 14-year drought in South Africa.

India 249 all out
Sourav Ganguly 51*, Sachin Tendulkar 44
Shaun Pollock 4-39, Makhaya Ntini 3-57

South Africa 84 all out
Ashwell Prince 24, Andre Nel 21
Sreesanth 5-40, Anil Kumble 2-2

India 236 all out
VVS Laxman 73, Zaheer Khan 37
Shaun Pollock 3-33, Andre Nel 3-58

South Africa 278 all out
Ashwell Prince 97, Shaun Pollock 40
Anil Kumble 3-54, Sreesanth 3-59

India win by 123 runs

Cricket Web Man of the Match: Sreesanth

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