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Thursday, 9 March, 2000, 15:18 GMT
India steal last-over thriller

Centurions Kirsten and Gibbs feel the heat
India beat South Africa by three wickets

Robin Singh hit the winning runs with two balls to spare as India triumphed in the first one-day international of five against South Africa.

Having lost the Test series 2-0, the home side were set on revenge at Cochin and achieved it in the final over of the day by passing South Africa's formidable total of 301.

The tourists elected to bat first and made short work of the Indian attack, as openers Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs built a colossal partnership of 235 runs.

Jadeja reaches 50
Jadeja is congratulated on his 50 by a fan
Kirsten reached his century first, with an innings that included 11 fours and occasionally pushed the run-rate to eight-an-over.

Gibbs followed soon after, slamming spinner Sunil Joshi down the ground for a magnificent six to bring up the ton.

The pair went soon after that, Gibbs caught by Ajit Agarkar for 111 and Kirsten caught by Ajay Jadeja off the bowling of Rahul Dravid for 115.

Lance Klusener failed to follow in their footsteps as he was dismissed for a duck, but Jacques Kallis and skipper Hansie Cronje saw out the 50 overs to set the Indians a target of 302 to win.

New captain Saurav Ganguly and former skipper Sachin Tendulkar, knocked out 45 quick runs without loss before a mini-collapse threatened hopes of a home win.

Ganguly, Dravid, Tendulkar and Joshi went in quick succession to the South Africans' pace attack, to leave India struggling on 102 for four.

The day was rescued by man-of-the-match Ajay Jadeja, who scored 92 off 109 balls, and another former captain Mohammad Azharuddin who managed 42.

Singh completed the remarkable sprint-finish with an unbeaten 42 off 43 to deliver India a well-earned victory.

Scorecard

South Africa Innings:
G Kirsten c Jadeja b Dravid 115
H H Gibbs c Agarkar b Joshi 111
J H Kallis not out 37
L Klusener c & b Dravid 0
*W J Cronje not out 19
Extras (6lb, 9w, 4nb) 19
Total (3 wickets, 50 overs) 301
Fall: 1-235, 2-249, 3-249
Did not bat: S M Pollock, +M V Boucher, H S Williams, M Hayward D N Crookes, N Boje

Bowling:
Agarkar 7 0 55 0
Kumaran 5 0 41 0
Kumble 8 0 48 0
Joshi 10 0 52 1
Tendulkar 10 0 43 0
Dravid 9 1 44 2
Singh 1 0 12 0

India Innings:
S R Tendulkar c Williams b Hayward 26
*S C Ganguly c Boucher b Pollock 31
R Dravid c Williams b Cronje 17
S B Joshi run out 13
M Azharuddin c Pollock b Kallis 42
A Jadeja c Crookes b Cronje 92
R R Singh not out 42
+S S Dighe c Cronje b Pollock 5
A Kumble not out 7
Extras (2b, 5lb, 13w, 7nb) 27
Total (7 wickets, 49.4 overs) 302
Fall: 1-45, 2-70, 3-81, 4-102, 5-180, 6-272, 7-287
Did not bat: A B Agarkar, T Kumaran

Bowling:
Pollock 9.4 0 59 2
Kallis 6 0 42 1
Cronje 8 0 48 2
Hayward 6 0 35 1
Williams 9 1 40 0
Boje 6 0 34 0
Crookes 5 0 37 0

Umpires: M R Singh and C R Vijayaraghavan

India lead the five match series 1-0
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See also:

06 Mar 00 |  Cricket
SA take the spoils
26 Feb 00 |  Cricket
South Africa hold out
08 Mar 00 |  Cricket
Fresh cricket deal for BBC
Links to other Cricket stories are at the foot of the page.