Spectators at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, were left drenched and disappointed, after rain cut short a promising match between South Africa and India.
The South Africans, were crowned winners of the one-off Twenty20 International by 11 runs, due to the Duckworth-Lewis method, after the umpires called the match off, due to the relentless rain.
South Africa Captain, Johan Botha, was frustrated with the shortened match, and said: “It was evenly poised. Gauti and Robin started well but our guys also batted well on an excellent strip and I think going the way they did and getting 220 was excellent.”
Indian Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, won the toss, and decided to bowl first.
The South African openers, Richard Levi, who holds the record for the fastest Twenty20 International century, and Jacques Kallis, who this match was dedicated to, made their way out to the middle, as the crowds went wild.
India, however, got the upper hand early into the match, as they removed Levi early in his innings, after he got a thick edge off an attempted push into the off side, which landed safely into the hands of Rohit Sharma at first slip.
However, after Levi fell, Kallis and Colin Ingram started to an all-out attack on the Indian bowling lineup, dispatching to all corners of the ground.
The pair, started to build a dominant partnership, while maintaining an excellent run rate, which started to frustrate the Indians.
To make matters worse, the Indian bowlers looked to be trying too hard to remove Kallis and Ingram, which resulted in very poor bowling, that the pair used to keep the runs flowing and get themselves more confident and settled at the crease.
The fifty partnership between the two batsmen, came up in no time at all, and after that, they continued to dominate the game.
With the pair continually rotating the strike and hitting boundaries, it looked as if South Africa were on track to go past the 200 mark as a final total.
Colin Ingram, brought up his own half century off 38 balls, while Kallis, followed just one delivery later, making his fifty from only 36 balls.
Soon enough, the hundred partnership had been brought up, and everyone in the ground stood and applauded the pair, as it had been an absolutely scintillating batting display.
However, just as the pair were looking to take the partnership to the next level, Kallis, tried to slog a delivery over the rope for six, but, was caught by Rohit Sharma, who did very well to take the catch.
Kallis, made 61 runs from 42 deliveries, which included five boundaries and two massive sixes.
Debutant Farhaan Behardien joined Ingram at the crease, and the two batsmen, put together a quick partnership of 27 runs, before, Ingram, was dismissed, after Rohit Sharma, again took a brilliant catch at deep midwicket, bringing an end to Ingram’s innings on 78 from 50 balls, which included eight boundaries and three huge sixes.
Justin Ontong was the next batsman in, and he, together with Behardien, added another 35 valuable runs, and were looking good to increase that, until Ontong’s middle stump was knocked out, after he attempted a huge slog off Suresh Raina.
With three balls left in the innings, Albie Morkel, hit a six, four and another six to give South Africa another 16 runs, which brought their innings to an end, finishing on an outstanding total of 219 runs.
Suresh Raina took two wickets for India, while, Irfan Pathan and Ravichandran Ashwin, picked up one wicket each.
With South Africa making the second-highest total at the Wanderers, India, were going to have to score 220 runs and beat it, in order to win the match.
India’s openers, Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa, made a blistering start to the match, as they looked determined to end India’s horrible series losses with a big win.
The pair just smashed everything the South African bowlers threw at them to the boundary, over the ropes, or for runs.
With Gambhir and Uthappa settled at the crease and full of confidence, the South African Captain, Johan Botha, was starting to get worried that they may start to take the game away.
The fifty partnership soon came up between the pair, and from there they continued to hammer the bowling attack, and showed no signs of slowing down.
However, there was only one thing that could slow them down, which was the rain, and it started to fall heavily in the eighth over, when the pair’s partnership was on 71 runs.
Gambhir, was unbeaten on 49 from 28 deliveries, and had already hit 7 boundaries and a six, whereas, Uthappa, was taking it much slower, and was undefeated on 18 runs off 19 balls, with only one boundary to his name.
From there, the rain steadily grew heavier, and conditions got even worse, which prompted the umpires to call the match off.
However, after working out that India needed 83 runs, via the Duckworth-Lewis method, South Africa, were announced as winners by 11 runs.
As the South Africans celebrated, Indian Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and the rest of the squad, could only look on and wonder what could have been, if the match had been allowed to continue.
South African Captain, Johan Botha, praised Kallis and Ingram for their 119 run partnership. “It was nice for Kallis and Colin to give us a good platform. A 100-run partnership is good in any format but in twenty20 it is even better. They provided a good base for us to launch the total” he said.
The Captain, also added that he felt comfortable, even though India had got off to a dominating start. “They were batting well, they played a few shots and it was going their way but still they was scoring around nine runs per over and we thought if we can string a few overs at 8 or 7 runs, I mean it is still plenty to get in 10 overs, we were still feeling comfortable” Botha said.
With the Indians losing the one-off Twenty20 International, they, along with the South African players, will now be looking forward to playing in the IPL, which starts next Wednesday.