Second time in a row we have nail biting finish in the third ODI played between India and South Africa and once again it was India who hold their nerves till end emerge out as a Winner by two wickets to take important lead of 2-1 in five match one day series against South Africa with two more to play on Friday and Sunday.
With needing 221 runs for victory, Indians were struggling at 93/5 in the 25th over when Yusuf Pathan joins Suresh Raina at the crease with more than 100 runs still to get over the line, Yusuf Pathan choosen to go the best way he knows to get the job done. He smashed three sixes and six fours in his inning of 59 run off just 50 balls.
Yusuf Pathan and Suresh Raina out on match winning partnership of 75 runs before S.Raina (37 runs off 47 balls) got out after playing needless shot of prime bowler M.Morkel. At that time India still 53 more runs to win, but hopes of Indians were alive with Yusuf Pathan at the crease but few overs later he was also out caught brilliantly by Morne Morkel at third man on the bowling of Dale Styen which left India at 182/7 in the 40th over.
However Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan when it mattered used all there experience to get India closer to the target of 221 runs but just 13 runs short Zaheer throw it away whiel playing unnecessary stroke which helped South Africa once again to get back into the game.
But in the end Nehra and Harbhajan Singh put on valuable unbroken 15 runs partnership for the 9th wicket to steer India home.
Earlier, Zaheer Khan took three wickets as India bowled South Africa out for 220 with four balls to spare in the third one-day international at Newlands on Tuesday. South Africa were struggling at one stage with 93/4 but thanks to debutant F du Plessis (60 runs off 78 balls) and JP Duminy (52 runs off 59 balls) put on valuable partnership of 110 runs for the sixth wicket to bring South Africa on track to get closer to 250 run mark.
However as they were just starting out to take advantage of batting powerplay they have lost both of the set batsmen in quick succession. In the last six overs they have lost there last six wickets and scored just 20 runs which pulled back South African inning.
Yusuf Pathan was declared Man of the Match.
Match Summary (India Won by 2 Wickets)
South Africa Inning– 220/10 in 49.2 Overs
F du Plessis- 60 JP Duminy– 52
Z.Khan– 9.2-0-43-3 H.Singh- 9-1-23-2
India Inning– 223/8 in 48.2 Overs
YuSuf Pathan- 59 S.Raina–37
M.Morkel– 10-0-28-3 D.Styen- 10-1-31-2