Yuvraj leads India to series win over Proteas

Belfast, July 2:

Yuvraj Singh’s unbeaten 61 runs saw India to a six-wicket win over South Africa here on Sunday to take the three-match one-day international (ODI) series 2-1.

In a match reduced by rain to 31 overs per side, Yuvraj finished the game by smashing Andre Nel for four with four balls to spare after India had slumped to 38-3. Yuvraj also led India 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 148-7 after they’d collapsed to 28-4 after being sent in to bat first.

Kemp 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 (8) was caught behind off Makhaya Ntini. Gautam Gambhir then played on to Dale Steyn. Sourav Ganguly was caught behind.

India captain Rahul Dravid, together with Yuvraj, got India’s target down to 64 runs off the last 10 overs. But a stand of 70 ended when Dravid was caught by wicket-keeper Mark Boucher’s direct hit at the non-striker’s end. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (14 not out) kept up the momentum by carving and driving Nel for two fours.

Ajit Agarkar removed opener Morne van Wyk and Kallis for nought apiece on his way to 2-21. Ganguly followed up with two wickets in two balls. AB de Villiers edged a ball from Ganguly onto his pad and keeper Dhoni, standing up to the stumps, ran round to take a catch. Next ball Jean-Paul Duminy was given out leg before.

Earlier, 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.