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Saturday, May 15, 1999 Published at 17:26 GMT 18:26 UK

Earpiece row mars South Africa win

Shaun Pollock looks on as Saurav Ganguly collects another run

India 253-5, South Africa 254-6. South Africa win by four wickets.

South African captain Hansie Cronje sparked the first controversy of the Cricket World Cup by wearing an earpiece to take instructions from coach Bob Woolmer during his side's victory over India at Hove.

Simon Mann: "South Africa were told to get rid of the ear piece"
Cronje's men eventually won a closely-contested game with a late run charge - but only after he had caused a storm with the sport's governing body.

A row broke out as Saurav Ganguly marked his 100th one-day international by hitting 97 to take India to 253-5 from their 50 overs.

India complained to the officials about the earpiece and match referee Talat Ali told Cronje to remove it.

The International Cricket Council was outraged by the episode and made its views clear to South Africa in a terse statement.

[ image: Rahul Dravid sees his stumps splayed by Lance Klusener]
Rahul Dravid sees his stumps splayed by Lance Klusener
It said: "The World Cup is not the event to experiment with new devices without first seeking permission from the ICC."

South Africa moved swiftly in an attempt to defuse the row and coach Woolmer said: "If I have upset anyone, then I apologise. I was just trying to be innovative.

"We probably should have asked permission from the ICC. I suppose it was a little naive of me not to do that.

"All it is is a two-way radio which allows me to talk to the players. All we're trying to do is give the players advice and help them more quickly rather than send on someone with gloves or whatever to pass on the same information."

Tight finish

In a tight game, 29 runs from the final 9 deliveries sealed victory for the South Africans who looked to have been trailing mid-way through their innings.

South Africa, chasing India's 253 for five, were reduced to 116 for four in the 26th over before Jonty Rhodes joined Jaques Kallis in a revival that saw them home with 16 balls to spare.

Kallis, who made 96, added 64 for the fifth wicket with Cronje and then 38 off 36 balls for the sixth with Rhodes, who finished with 39 not out as South Africa pulled out the stops in the tense final overs.

Kallis, who had made just 63 runs in five previous World Cup matches, fell short of a century when he was run out as Rhodes attempted a risky third run.

But Lance Klusener and Rhodes ensured South Africa's win with a flurry of boundaries as the Indians rued not making an extra 20 runs in their innings.

Ganguly inspires India

Left-hand opener Ganguly had led from the front for India, stroking 11 fours and a six - before a typically inspired piece of fielding from run-out expert Rhodes brought his downfall.

Doctor Ali Backer: " It was only an experiment"
Rahul Dravid made 54 in a second-wicket stand of 130s that was the bedrock of the Indians' innings.

South Africa's bowlers struggled to cause the batsmen too many problems on a placcid wicket.

But will be disappointed to have closed their innings about 20 runs short of the kind of total they would have wanted.

Sachin suffers

Ganguly put on 67 for the first wicket with master batsman Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar, who was able to play his first international since February after shrugging off a back injury, was in subdued moode, scoring 28 off 46 balls before edging a Lance Klusener delivery to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

Ganguly and Dravid then took control against the pre-tournament favourites.

Together they took the score to 197-2 with eight overs remaining, before Klusener provided the breakthrough again by bowling Dravid as he tried a leg-side flick.

Jonty does it again

Two overs later Ganguly played a a Jacques Kallis delivery to point, where Rhodes - rated the world's best fielder - dived full-stretch to his right and in virtually the same movement threw to the bowler, who broke the stumps with Ganguly yards from the crease.

Captain Mohammed Azharuddin, who had won the toss and elected to bat, picked up the run-rate with a run-a-ball 24 before Klusener bagged his third wicket.

Ajay Jadeja weighed in with 16, until Allan Donald claimed his only scalp of the innings.

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