Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeenews Sports Bureau
Johannesburg: South Africa won the New Age Friendship cup by 11 runs as the match was called off due to rain in Johannesburg. Rain halted the game when India had scored 71 runs with openers still in the middle in 7.5 overs. Though, India were behind the par score of 82 as per Duckworth Lewis method by 11 runs.
Chasing a record total of 219, India had a terrific start with Gambhir taking charge of the run chase. Comeback man Robin Uthappa struggled in the middle but managed to support Gambhir well with 18 runs off 19 balls. Gambhir, on the other hand was on fire scoring 49 off just 28 balls courtesy seven boundaries.
Earlier in the day, the New Age Friendship cup saw sensational bit of batting from the South Africans on a belter of a pitch at the ‘Bull Ring’ Wanderers as the hosts amassed 219 runs for the loss of four wickets in 20 overs against India in the one-off T20 international at Johannesburg.
After being put into bat by India, Richard Levi and Jacques Kallis walked out to the middle and immediately showed his hitting prowess with two well connected shots to the boundary. But Levi’s short burst came to an early end as he was scalped by Irfan Pathan in the very next over, though not before he belted the leftie for two consecutive fours.
Colin Ingram joined Kallis in the middle and the southpaw in the very first ball pushed a short of length delivery off the backfoot with good timing; but afterwards he looked a bit shaky playing out a few dot balls.
Kallis though, at the other end, without any fuss accumulated runs with his occasional flash to the fence. Dhoni brought in his part timers and bowled them in one over spells. By the time powerplay got over, South Africa reached a healthy position of 55 for 1. Praveen Kumar up front suffered but Vinay Kumar did miserly in his first spell.
From there on, Ingram and Kallis got their footing against the part-timers knocking off the singles with ease and getting a couple of boundaries every alternate over.
Kallis and Ingram upped the ante in the 12th over hitting Rohit Sharma for a six and a four. Both Ingram and Kallis reached their fifties in the 14th over. With wickets in hand, both started to take the bowlers to the cleaners. Kallis got out the next over for 61 but Ingram carried on with his charge. In the 17th over, he milked Vinay Kumar for 20 runs. He was holed out in the deep after scoring a brisk 78 off 50 balls.
Justin Ontong and Farhaan Behardien then took the South African total past 200 with some hefty blows out of the park. Albie Morkel also made his presence felt scoring 16 runs off the last three balls of the innings. The 20th over bowled by Suresh Raina turned out to be the most expensive, yielding 26 runs.