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Kemp assault sets up South African victory
by AFP


Ground:Newlands, Cape Town
Scorecard:South Africa v India
Player:Z Khan, SM Pollock, AJ Hall, JM Kemp
Event:India in South Africa 2006/07

DateLine: 26th November 2006

 

Big-hitting Justin Kemp pounded what captain Graeme Smith described as an "unbelievable" maiden century as South Africa came back from a horror start to gain a convincing 106-run win in the third one-day international against India at Newlands Sunday.

 

Kemp made 100 not out off 89 balls as South Africa recovered from 76 for six to reach 274 for seven after winning the toss. India also started poorly but despite half-centuries from captain Rahul Dravid and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were bowled out for 168. Shaun Pollock took four for 26.

 

"The pitch was a little damp in the first 20 overs," said Smith. "We thought 230 or 240 was a good total on this wicket. It took something unbelievable and Kempy was incredible the way he finished the innings for us."

 

Kemp said the opportunity to play himself in after going to the wicket at 71 for five in the 19th over was a personal bonus. "In that situation you can give yourself more time and catch up at the death," he said.

 

He became only the third batsman to score a one-day international century batting at number seven, following Hashan Tillekaratne of Sri Lanka and Mohammad Kaif of India.

 

The win gave South Africa an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the five-match series. The first match was rained out.

 

South Africa's total seemed unlikely after Indian left-arm opening bowler Zaheer Khan plunged the innings into disarray.

 

Khan took two wickets for no runs in the first over and had an opening spell of three for nine off seven overs.

 

Indian coach Greg Chappell said his side had failed to capitalise on an excellent start. "We have got into positions to win and then not finished it off," he said. "We didn't take our chances and we were outplayed in all departments."

 

Chappell said key players were failing to perform. "The players have to dig deep and find a way to turn it around," he said.

 

Kemp and Pollock (33) started the South African fightback when they put on 60 for the seventh wicket.

 

Even then, South Africa were in a shaky position but Kemp and Andrew Hall (56 not out) added an unbeaten South African record 138 for the eighth wicket with some audacious strokeplay. They scored their runs off only 92 balls.

 

Hall was a controversial late inclusion. Media officer Gordon Templeton said fast bowler Andre Nel was replaced after suffering a finger injury but it emerged that Nel had been passed fit to play, only for selection convenor Haroon Lorgat to tell captain Graeme Smith shortly before the toss that Hall was playing.

 

"I can't comment on that," said Smith afterwards. "It's a selection issue." Templeton said there would be no statement. "It is an internal matter."

 

The tall Kemp, who survived difficult chances on nine and 35, hit seven sixes and six fours. His first 50 runs were scored off a relatively sedate 67 balls as he and Pollock rebuilt the innings but he went on the rampage to score his second half-century off 22 deliveries.

 

Khan was among the bowlers who suffered as South Africa hammered 113 off the last ten overs, including 77 off the last six.

 

Khan finished with three for 42, conceding 33 runs off his last three overs, after seemingly putting his side on target to level the series.

 

Khan was on target from the start of the match, with Smith surviving an appeal for leg before wicket off the first ball only to be bowled by the next delivery when he failed to get forward to a ball which angled in to beat the South African captain.

 

Two balls later, Jacques Kallis, who made a century to set up South Africa's 157-run win in Durban Wednesday, drove loosely outside the off stump and was caught by Sachin Tendulkar at first slip.

 

Khan claimed a third wicket when Loots Bosman, who took 20 balls to score his first run, was out in similar fashion to Kallis, caught at first slip by Tendulkar for six.

 

Herschelle Gbbs and AB de Villiers batted brightly for 35 and 29 respectively but when Pollock was the second of two run-out victims India were on top. Hall took full advantage of his late inclusion, however, and struck the ball crisply from the start of his innings, while Kemp delighted the crowd with his powerful straight hitting.

 

Pollock was as destructive at the start of India's innings as Khan had been earlier. Virender Sehwag, who missed the first match because of a finger injury, was out for nought when he slashed the fourth ball of the innings to third man and Sachin Tendulkar made only two before clipping a catch to square leg.

 

Pollock then bowled Mohammad Kaif off a bottom edge in an opening spell of three for 17.

 

Dhoni made an aggressive 55 off 48 balls, with four sixes and three fours as he and Dravid put on 85 for the fifth wicket but it was the only substantial partnership of the innings.

 

Dravid watched his side's hopes disintegrate before he was ninth out for 63, made off 103 balls, when he top-edged a pull to fine leg to be Pollock's fourth victim.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)



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