It was yet another tight contest in the third ODI at Cape Town and once again it was India keeping its cool to pull off victory. Needing 221 for a win, India was losing wickets at the wrong time right through its innings mainly because of some superb bowling from Morne Morkel. However, some clinical blows from Yusuf Pathan and the finishing act from Harbhajan Singh saw the visitors to the victory line to go 2-1 up in the 5-ODI Series.
In the first half, India got off to a good start with the ball and the South Africans despite having their Skipper Graeme Smith hanging in there, found it difficult to get things moving at a healthy run rate. Once Smith was dismissed for a 79-ball 43, India was in a great position to bowl out SA cheaply having got them to 90 for 4. But the hosts got bailed out thanks to a fine partnership of 110 between JP Duminy (52 from 59 balls) along with debutant right hander - Faf du Plessis who scored an attractive 60 from 78 balls. For India, Zaheer bowled well for his 3 for 43 and Harbhajan Singh was simply outstanding for his 9-1-23-2.
The run chase for India was never going to be easy under lights and also the top order looking pretty inexperienced. Morne Morkel kept SA in the hunt by providing them with crucial breakthroughs. At one stage, India slipped to 93 for 5 having lost both MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh cheaply. Just when SA were looking well set for a victory, Yusuf Pathan turned things around with his lusty hitting which included three sixes off a Johan Botha over and that released all the pressure. Along with Raina (who chipped in with 37 from 47 balls), Pathan added up a match-winning 75-run stand for the sixth wicket.
When Yusuf Pathan was caught brilliantly by Morkel at thirdman, India was 39 runs short of the target with 3 wickets in hand. This was when the experienced duo of Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan stood up to the task and put up a vital partnership of 26. Harbhajan Singh stayed the distance to ensure a victory with his cameo of 23* from 25 balls which included two sixes. For the Proteas, Morne Morkel was exceptional with figures of 10-0-28-3. Yusuf Pathan got the Man of the Match for his all-round efforts in the day.
Toss and Teams
South Africa have won the toss and elected to bat first in the Third ODI at Newlands in Cape Town. Both the teams have made a change each to their line-up. The hosts have decided to hand over an ODI Debut for Faf du Plessis who will be replacing David Miller in the middle order. For India, Yusuf Pathan comes into the side following the injury to Sachin Tendulkar who had left home. Rohit Sharma has been picked to open the batting with Murali Vijay in place of Tendulkar.
The pitch at Cape Town is expected to favour the spinners and can be slower and slower as the day progresses. There is no seam movement expected out of the track and the batsmen can breathe easy against the quick bowlers for a change.
South Africa : HM Amla, GC Smith (C), CA Ingram, AB de Villiers (WK), JP Duminy, F du Plessis, J Botha, WD Parnell, DW Steyn, M Morkel, LL Tsotsobe