India beat SA by six wkts, clinch series
Yuvraj Singh guides India home with his unbeaten 61 in the third and final one-dayer of the Future Cup at Belfast.Updated: May 16, 2012 11:52 IST
Yuvraj Singh's unbeaten 61 saw India to a six-wicket win over South Africa at Stormont in Belfast on Sunday to take the three-match one-day international series 2-1.
In a match reduced by rain to 31 overs per side, left-hander Yuvraj finished the game by smashing Andre Nel for four with four balls to spare after India had slumped to 38 for three. His winning hit sparked a mass pitch invasion by hundreds of jubilant Indian fans.
Yuvraj had also seen India home to a six-wicket win on Friday, that had levelled the series, with 49 not out.
Justin Kemp's run-a-ball 61 was the top score in South Africa's 148 for seven after they'd collapsed to 28 for four having had the worst of the conditions after being sent in on a seaming pitch.
Kemp - fit after a thigh injury - and Herschelle Gibbs (56) revived the innings in a fifth-wicket stand of 99.
But India might have had less of a target to chase had not Kemp been dropped on 10 and Gibbs missed twice in the 40s.
India, like South Africa, lost early wickets.
Sachin Tendulkar, who on Friday had become the first batsman to score 15,000 one-day international runs while making 93, was caught behind off Makhaya Ntini for eight.
Gautam Gambhir, pulling, then played on to fast bowler Dale Steyn, one of several players on both sides who'd been struck down by a flu virus.
Then Sourav Ganguly was caught behind.
India captain Rahul Dravid, together with Yuvraj who rode his luck, got India's target down to 64 runs off the last 10 overs.
Yuvraj edged India nearer with an elegant, straight-driven, four off Kemp, a member of South Africa's six-man all-seam attack.
Dravid followed up by pulling South Africa captain Jacques Kallis through mid-wicket for four.
But a stand of 70 ended when Dravid was caught napping by wicket-keeper Mark Boucher's direct hit on the stumps at the non-striker's end.
Undaunted, Yuvraj lofted Steyn for a magnificent straight six and India needed under a run-a-ball.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who finished on 14 not out, kept up the momentum by carving and driving Nel for two fours.
Yuvraj completed a 77-ball fifty with one six and four fours before nearly slamming a ball into Dhoni off Andrew Hall that raced to the boundary.
Ajit Agarkar, another 'flu victim, marked his comeback by removing opener Morne van Wyk and Kallis for nought apiece on his way to two for 21.
Former captain Ganguly followed up with two wickets in two balls.
Agarkar struck with his fifth delivery when van Wyk was lbw.
Then Kallis played inside the line of a superb delivery that cut away late and knocked back his off-stump.
AB de Villiers edged a ball from medium-pacer Ganguly onto his pad and keeper Dhoni, standing up to the stumps, ran round to take a catch. Next ball left-hander Jean-Paul Duminy was given out lbw.
Kemp survived the hat-trick with a single.
Gibbs, after two scares, completed a 59-ball fifty with a straight six off teenage leg-spinner Piyush Chawla before he was bowled by Zaheer Khan.
Kemp, who'd hit the first ball of the final over from Tendulkar for six, was bowled round his legs next ball by the part-time spinner.
India are due to play Pakistan in a one-day international in Glasgow on Tuesday before facing England in three-Tests and seven one-day internationals from July 19 to September 8.
South Africa travel to neighbours Zimbabwe for a one-day international series in August. They then host the inaugural World Twenty20 in September.