SA end Indian tour on a high

Category : News

Superb batting at the death by centurions Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers, who lashed 78 runs in the last five overs, accelerated South Africa to a daunting 365 for two after they had won the toss and batted first.

Against such a massive total, the Indian run chase always seemed to be dying a slow death.

New-ball bowlers Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe each picked up an early wicket as Dinesh Karthik fell for 11 and Murali Vijay for 25.

Steyn lured Karthik into driving uppishly at a slower ball and being caught at mid-off, while Tsotsobe ripped a lifter into Vijay’s gloves and had him caught behind.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma then added 95 for the third wicket but few people would have bet on India winning as those runs came off 118 balls as spinners Roelof van der Merwe and Johan Botha took responsibility for strangling the batsmen.

Rohit eventually decided to target Botha but was embarrassed to fall to a leg-side full toss, swinging it straight to Tsotsobe at deep square-leg. Rohit’s innings ended on 48 off 61 balls.

India’s hopes then effectively died in the next over as Dale Steyn returned and had Mahendra Singh Dhoni (nine) and Virat Kohli (57) caught behind by Mark Boucher.

Boucher’s catch to dismiss Dhoni was an absolute ripper, the veteran diving full-length to his right and taking the ball one-handed.

Tsotsobe also returned to pick up the wicket of the dangerous Yusuf Pathan for five, caught at long-off, but Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja then took the batting powerplay and immediately upped the run-rate.

The pair blazed 55 runs in those five overs, but the betting man was still against India as they needed 130 in 13 overs with just three wickets in hand, Raina (49 off 30 balls) contriving to hit a Botha full toss to long-off where 12th man Wayne Parnell took a fine leaping catch.

It was Van der Merwe, typically, who killed them off for good, trapping Shanthakumaran Sreesanth lbw for a single with an excellent ball that turned sharply, and then quelling enthusiastic debutant Abhimanyu Mithun’s 24 off 23 balls by having him well-stumped by Boucher. Mithun had just left the safety of his crease and was surprised by a high full toss.

Jadeja, who scored a run-a-ball 36, had been unable to egg the tail on to impossible feats and he was caught behind in the 45th over, swishing at Tsotsobe.

It was a gala performance all round by South Africa, with Steyn (three for 37 in eight) leading an attack in which Van der Merwe (two for 47 in 10) and Tsotsobe (three for 58 in 9.3) also shone.

Earlier, Kallis and De Villiers scored centuries at contrasting rates but of equal quality give South Africa an imposing total.

The duo combined for a scintillating unbeaten third-wicket stand of 173 in 17 overs for South Africa to make their highest ever total against India and their fourth highest overall.

Kallis once again showed that calls for him to accelerate earlier are largely misplaced: he took his time to play himself in, scoring his first boundary off his 46th ball, taking him to 30. His half-century came off 68 balls and he notched his 17th ODI century off 92 deliveries. His last 74 runs came off 48 balls as he finished on a majestic 104 not out off 94 deliveries with five fours and three sixes.

While Kallis paced his innings superbly and generally played with unflustered brilliance, it was clear De Villiers had declared war on the Indian bowlers from the outset.

His aggression, ability to improvise and superb ball-striking were crucial at the death as he lifted South Africa from a good total to a daunting one. De Villiers finished with an exceptional 102 not out off just 59 balls, with 11 fours and three sixes. His century came off just 58 balls, the seventh fastest in history and second best for South Africa after Mark Boucher’s 44-ball effort against Zimbabwe in Potchefstroom in 2006/7.

Ironically, it was only after the batting powerplay, which produced 44 runs with just three fours and a six, that Kallis and De Villiers really upped the pace. The powerplay ended with South Africa on 287 for two, but Kallis and De Villiers ripped into the next over, bowled by Sudeep Tyagi, with two sixes and a four as 19 runs came off it.

Kallis and De Villiers each hit a pair of boundaries in the 48th over bowled by Abhimanyu Mithun, which also cost 19 runs, and a flurry of sixes and fours saw another 36 runs come off the last two overs as South Africa plundered 78 runs in the last five.

De Villiers’s furious hitting and Kallis’s elegant strokeplay were made possible by an opening partnership of 113 in 15.4 overs between Loots Bosman and Hashim Amla.

Amla is in form to die for and he looked in total control as he breezed to 87 off 103 balls before he top-edged a sweep off left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja to deep backward square-leg. Amla totted up eight fours and his ability to find the boundary with classic cricket shots in the early overs when the field is up, and his skill in manipulating the ball into gaps and rotating the strike is most useful in the top-order.

It was Bosman who initially had the Indian tiger by the tail and a no-ball from Shanthakumaran Sreesanth when he had 18, the batsman turning the ball straight to short midwicket, cost the home side dearly.

Bosman survived to tear into the bowling with 68 off 46 balls, with seven fours and four sixes, and had just begun to really motor when he unfortunately got out.

Bosman, having hit a six earlier in the over, moved down the wicket to Yusuf Pathan but his lofted drive was sliced and Jadeja was able to grab a good catch at deep extra cover.

Amla and Kallis then ensured India could not wriggle off the hook, patiently adding 79 in 17 overs to put South Africa in a cosy position after the middle overs.

Jadeja was the best of the Indian bowlers and looks an outstanding talent as he took one for 53 in 10 overs, but the other Indian bowlers simply could not put the ball in the hole when they needed too.

Sreesanth was the most expensive in the innings, conceding 83 in nine overs, while off-spinner Rohit Sharma joined him in going for more than nine runs an over. Seamers Tyagi and Mithun conceded 59 and 63 runs respectively in their eight overs.

Off-spinner Yusuf claimed one wicket and did not give the ball much air as he went for “just” 66 runs in his 10 overs.

Source: SuperCricket – February 27, 2010 / KEN BORLAND

AB de Villiers positive for South African future

Category : News

A strong performance by South Africa in tests and a decent performance in the first ODI had kept the South African team all upbeat until the Superman from India Sachin Tendulkar first dived to stop the all important boundary and then with an unbelievable knock of 200 not out that clinched the series win for India. The South Africans still have a lot of positives to take home from the series.

South African batsman AB de Villiers has said that the tour was a learning experience for them and there were a lot of positives to be taken from the month long tour. The youngerSouth African lot would have learned a lot from this tour as the conditions in the sub continent are lot different from back home.

They were happy with a drawn test series. This tour will help the youngsters understand the adaptation to different conditions is as important as just going out there and performing.

De Villiers, in Gwalior scored a century in a loosing cause returning to form with a bang. He further added that the team would be going back home with a lot of lessons from the tour and a handful of positives as well.

Source: TopNews – February 27, 2010

De Villiers hits seventh fastest ton

Category : News

AB de Villiers blasted the seventh fastest century in ODI cricket when he slammed an unbeaten 102 off just 59 balls in the third and final game against India in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

De Villiers hit a boundary to bring up his sixth one-day international hundred off 58 balls.

The record for the fastest century in ODI cricket is still held by Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, who reached the landmark in just 37 balls against Sri Lanka at Kenya in 1996.

It was also de Villiers’ second consecutive century against India in the series. He scored an unbeaten 114 in the second ODI at Gwalior, which was overshadowed by Sachin Tendulkar’s double century – the first in ODI cricket history.

Source: CricketNext – February 27, 2010

De Villiers talks of positives

Category : News

South African batsman AB de Villiers feels that Indian tour was a learning experience for them and the Proteas are taking back a lot of positives from the month-long tour.

“This tour has been a learning experience for the boys especially the younger lot. We have definitely had a few positives. Drawing the Test series was a good effort. Not much has gone our way thereafter. We have learnt our lessons the hard way. This will enable the youngsters to work and improve their game,” De Villiers said, here on Friday.

De Villiers, who scored a century in the Gwalior one-dayer also agreed that not all the senior players were able to perform as per expectations.

“I must admit that senior players didn’t take the responsibility as expected and the Indians sensed their chance. In India, you shouldn’t allow the home team an opportunity to come back,” he stated.

He is however confident that South Africa will win on Saturday.

Source: The Telegraph (India) – February 27, 2010

De Villiers: Pride at stake

Category : News

AB de Villiers has warned his South Africa team-mates they have “a lot of pride to win back” in the final ODI against India on Saturday.

The Proteas have little left to play for after losing the first two matches of the series to the dominant hosts.

However de Villiers insists the Proteas are far better than their results suggest, and they will be out to set the record straight in Ahmedabad.

“I would say there is not much wrong with our team,” de Villiers said.

“It is just that the Indian team has raised the bar in the last few games. We have learnt our lessons the hard way.

“There can be no excuses for our shoddy effort because we are quite experienced players, but the senior guys, myself included, haven’t shouldered the responsibility that we were supposed to.

“The Indians have grabbed the chance and when in India you cannot afford to allow the home team an opportunity to come back.

“We have got a lot of pride to win back in the final match tomorrow.”

Source: Sky Sports – February 26, 2010