South Africa down India thriller in ICC cricket World Cup 2011

South Africa down India thriller in ICC cricket World Cup 2011 | South Africa down India in World Cup 2011

South Africa down India thriller in ICC cricket World Cup 2011: South Africa wrecked India’s unbeaten World Cup record on Saturday, successfully mounting a thrilling run chase to throw Group B wide open.

The result leaves India at the top of the group with seven points, one ahead of West Indies and South Africa, with England on five. Co-hosts Bangladesh are on four points with a game in hand on the English.

South Africa down India in World Cup 2011.Four teams from the group will go through to the quarter-finals but no team has yet booked its place in the last eight.

Needing 13 to win in the last over off seamer Ashish Nehra, South Africa found an unlikely star in Robin Peterson who plundered 16 runs off the first four balls to help his side achieve a 297-run target and a three-wicket win.
South Africa down India thriller in ICC cricket World Cup 2011
India earlier looked set to post a huge total when they reached 267-1 following Sachin Tendulkar’s brilliant 111 for his 48th one-day hundred, but lost their last nine wickets for just 29 runs to be bowled out for 296.

Man of the match Dale Steyn (5-50) played a key role in his team’s fightback to bag his maiden five-wicket haul in one-day internationals.

“For 15 overs up front we took an absolute beating but for 75 we played some incredible cricket,” said South Africa skipper Graeme Smith who was criticised last weekend for not being able to chase down a 172-run target to beat England.

“Chasing 300 on that deck, second innings was a hell of an effort from the guys and I think we’re all pretty speechless at the moment.”

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni backed his decision to bring back Nehra for the final over but he said the batsmen had earlier lost their way in front of a huge home crowd.

“You don’t play for the crowds. They always want you to hit sixes and fours but if you lose quite a few wickets in the powerplay or with overs to spare, it’s always better that the batsmen play the overs, delay your slog a bit and get maybe a par score and don’t look for that extra 20 or 25 runs,” he said.

Jacques Kallis (69), Hashim Amla (61), AB de Villiers (52), Faf du Plessis (25 not out) and JP Duminy (23) also contributed to South Africa’s win.

Meanwhile, England captain Andrew Strauss defended Graeme Swann after the spinner flew into a rage over the damp playing conditions during Friday’s shock defeat to Bangladesh.

Swann was furious that the night-time humidity at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium produced dew that made it difficult for bowlers to grip the ball.

On Saturday, the International Cricket Council fined Swann 10 percent of his match fee for breaching the game’s code of conduct.

Strauss defended Swann’s on-field swearing, which forced one television commentator to apologise on air for the language used.

“It was frustrating for him, and all of us, that the ball got as wet as it did. I told Graeme to calm down and get on with it – and he did do so,” said Strauss.

An unbeaten ninth-wicket stand of 58 between Mohammad Mahmudullah and Shafiul Islam helped the Tigers snatch an improbable two-wicket win over in Chittagong.

The win for the joint hosts, which kept their flickering World Cup hopes alive, sparked scenes of wild celebration in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan urged his team-mates not to let the opportunity slip.

“Beating England has opened the way for us and we must take advantage of that,” Shakib said.

“We now have a very good chance to make the quarter-finals. We must focus on our two games. We don’t want to go out of the tournament early.”

Ahead of their game with World Cup whipping boys Kenya on Sunday, Australia captain Ricky Ponting has promised the champions will field their strongest available side, with a likely starting place for Michael Hussey.

The experienced left-handed batsman was handed a World Cup lifeline when he was called up as a replacement for injured fast bowler Doug Bollinger.

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