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India cruise to victory over South Africa

Felix Austin | cricket20

The two million dollar man; Rohit Sharma celebrated his IPL auction success with an impressive half century to help India record a 21 run victory over South Africa the stunning Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

Morne van Wyk smashed 67 runs off just 39 deliveries for the home side but India proved to strong once they saw off the resistantís offered by the Proteas opener.

Faced with a run chase of 169 the Proteas started their innings off poorly losing Hashim Amla (1) and Colin Ingram (2) inside the first 5 overs to leave them 31-2.

Despite the double loss van Wyk continued his strong start dispatching Munaf Patel for a six and a boundary to end the 5th over before treating Ashwin with the same contempt an over later.

The opener continued his blitz as he raced to an impressive half century in just 24 deliveries, a new South African international record to help the home side reach 87-2 after 9 overs.

India turned the tables in the next over though when they picked up the wickets of AB de Villiers (14) and JP Duminy (0). de Villiers was first to go after he was run out by Suresh Raina before Duminy was trapped LBW by Yuvraj Singh 3 deliveries later.

The visitorís advantage was increased in the very next over when van Wyk (67) picked out Nehra out on the deep square leg boundary to give Praveen Kumar the big wicket India desired.

With their opener back in the dug out the home sides innings fell part with David Miller (10), Robin Peterson (2) quickly departed as the Proteas slumped to defeat despite a 7th wicket partnership of 21 between John Botha (25) and Wayne Parnell (13).

Sharma, who was signed by the Mumbai Indians for a cool $2 million during yesterdayís IPL player auction, smashed 5 fours and 2 sixes during an innings which showed why he was in high demand amongst the IPL franchises.

The 23 year old came to the crease in the 3rd over after Murali Vijay (14) was caught by Morne van Wky out on the boundary to give Rusty Theron the early break through.

With Virat Kohli in support Sharma proceed to attack the South African bowlers utilizing the shortened boundaries inside the Moses Mabhida Stadium; which was built for last years World Cup in South Africa.

The pair added 49 runs during their 2nd wicket partnership before Kohli (28) was bowled by Proteas skipper Johan Botha half way through the 8th over.

The loss of Kohli slowed the Indians down and although Sharma completed his half century he was soon dismissed by JP Duminy after Makhaya Ntini, playing in his last game for South Africa took a simple catch out of the boundary.

With Sharma gone the Indians started to struggle and they lost Yuvraj Singh (12) and YK Pathan (6) in quick succession to leave the visitors 136-5 with just 4 overs remaining.

With the tension mounting Ntini completed his final over and was given a standing ovation by the near capacity crowd as he bowled his final delivery for South Africa on the international stage.

Despite the mini collapse Suresh Raina (41) and MS Dhoni (10) added 33 valuable runs during the final three overs to give the visitors the advantage.

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