Duminy, du Plessis push South Africa to 220

Cape Town, Jan 18 (PTI) JP Duminy (52) and debutant Fafdu Plessis (60) scored risk-free half centuries before Indianbowlers made a remarkable comeback in the final battingpowerplay to bowl out South Africa for 220 in third cricketone-dayer here today.

Electing to bat, Graeme Smith made a patient 43 off 79balls before Duminy and du Plessis steadied South Africa''sship with a 110-run fifth wicket stand that came off 125 ballsafter they were down 90 for four at one stage.

But the highlight of the day was the disciplined Indianbowling attack. Credit should go to the Indian new ball pairofd Zaheer Khan (3/43) and Munaf Patel (2/42) , who made lifedifficult for the South African batsmen from the word go inwhat looked as a flat Newlands track.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (2/23) was not to be leftbehind as he controlled the proceedings in the middle oversbefore Zaheer and Munaf returned at the death to bowl outSouth Africa in 49.2 overs from a good position.

The final batting powerplay backfired for South Africa asthey lost as many as four wickets for just 25 runs.

To add to skipper Smith''s woes, South African batterscould manage only 48 runs in the last 10 overs losing as manyas six wickets.

Starting the proceedings, Zaheer produced a brilliantfirst over as he exracted swing and bounce to beat SouthAfrican captain Smith a number of time.

Smith survived a confident leg before wicket appeal inZaheer''s second over with a ball that swung in sharply but theumpire was unmoved. Television replays suggested that theball would have gone over the stump.

India fired the first salvo in the seventh over whenZaheer bowled Amla (16) with a gem of a delivery. Amla triedto drive through covers but the ball angled in and took aninside edge to knock down his off stump.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni introduced hisspecialist spinner Harbhajan as early as the 12th overof the match and he troubled Smith in his very first over.

Harbhajan struck in his second over by getting rid ofColin Ingram (10) to reduce the Proteas to 49 for two.

Ingram, who has not been among the runs, stepped forwardto defend but only succeeded in edging the ball to Virat Kohliat slip, who pulled off a one-handed blinder.

The hosts then lost the wickets of de Villiers (16) andSmith in quick succession to find themselves in a spot ofbother at 90 for four. .

Yusuf Pathan, who came into the team in place of an injured Sachin Tendulkar, struck in his very first over bygetting rid of de Villiers with Zaheer taking a superb runningcatch in wide long on.

Harbhajan then accounted for Smith who attempted a sweepbut failed to time the ball and Kohli took his second catch atslip.

Then Duminy and debutant du Plessis joined hands toressurect the South African innings with the 100-pluspartnership.

Both Duminy and du Plessis were in no mood to take risksand toiled hard for their runs which came mostly in singlesand twos. The duo''s hardship can be gauged from the fact thatthey struck just three boundaries during their partnership.

With both the batsmen set at the crease, South Africatook their final batting powerplay in the 45th over but thedecision misfired as both du Plessis and Duminy made hardlyany imapct, departing when their team needed them the most.

Du Plessis, who was struggling with cramps, was the firstto show some signs of urgency, lofting Munaf over mid-off fora four in the 45th over before departing in the next ball insearch one too many. He was caught by an agile Kohli at theedge of the circle as the batsman went for an inside out shotover cover.

Duminy was then cleaned up by Zaheer in the next over tomake matters worst for the home team. And as if the twin blowwas not enough, new man in Wayne Parnell was run out two ballslater in search of a double.

Johan Botha, Dale Steyn and last man Lonwabo Tsotsobewere no better with the bat as they departed in quicksucession towards the end.

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