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IPL desk in Mumbai 31 March 2012 - 11:25am IST

Gambhir sizzles but Ind lose to SA by 11 runs

Kallis’ 42-ball 61 helped hosts trump visitors under D/L method

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Gautam Gambhir scored a blistering 28-ball 49* but with rain forcing an early halt to the one-off T20 International between South Africa and India, the visitors lost the contest by 11 runs. India, who were 71 for no loss in 7.5 overs thanks to Gambhir’s heroics, needed a par score of 82 under the Duckworth/Lewis method when rain forced the game to be called off.

Earlier, the Proteas batsmen put up an excellent performance to post the highest score by any side against India in a T20 International. Mumbai Indians’ recent acquisition, Richard Levi, smashed 19 off eight balls getting the hosts off to a flier before edging an Irfan Pathan delivery in the second over straight to first slip.

With Levi gone, Jacques Kallis and Colin Ingram went about punishing the Indian bowlers on a flat and placid Wanderers wicket. The pair raised the 100-run mark for South Africa in just 11.2 overs while bringing up their respective half-centuries shortly after.

Desperate to stop the South African onslaught, India captain MS Dhoni used as many as eight bowlers, but it wasn’t until the 15th over when Chennai Super Kings’ R Ashwin managed to put an end to Kallis’ innings. The Kolkata Knight Riders’ all-rounder was caught at the deep mid-wicket boundary by Rohit Sharma while trying to slog-sweep Ashwin out of the park. Kallis made 61 (42 balls) and the hosts were 141 for two at the fall of his wicket.

Ingram, meanwhile, helped himself to his best T20I score of 78 off just 50 deliveries. He was eventually dismissed by Suresh Raina caught by Rohit Sharma off the first ball of the 18th over.

With Kallis and Ingram out of the way, it appeared that the visitors would restrict the hosts to under 200. However, with Suresh Raina conceding 26 runs off the final over, the most by an Indian bowler in a T20I, South Africa reached 219 for four of 20 overs. Justin Ontong (22 off seven) and Albie Morkel (16* off three) were the batsmen responsible for Raina’s miserable last over.

India, though, responded in style to the target set by the Proteas. Gautam Gambhir smashed 49* off just 28 deliveries, including 16 from Albie Morkel’s second over, to take India to 71 for no loss in just 7.5 overs. Pune Warriors India’s Robin Uthappa also chipped in with an unbeaten 19-ball 18.

However, with the rain pelting down in Johannesburg, the match was eventually called off after a 45-minute wait. Since India were behind the D/L target of 82, South Africa won the match by 11 runs.

Brief scores: South Africa 219/4 in 20.0 overs (Colin Ingram 78, Jacques Kallis 61, R Ashwin 1-33) beat India 71/0 in 7.5 overs (Gautam Gambhir 49*, Robin Uthappa 18*) by D/L by 11 runs.

Man-of-the-match: Colin Ingram for his blustery 50-ball 78 (8x4, 3x6) which helped South Africa post a mammoth score of 219

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