Proteas prevail in battle of nerves

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NAGPUR – South Africa backed paceman Dale Steyn’s five-wicket burst with their batting depth to end India’s winning run with a thrilling three-wicket victory in the World Cup on Saturday. Needing 13 to win in the last over off seamer Ashish Nehra, South Africa found an unlikely star in Robin Peterson who plundered 16 runs off the first four balls to help his side achieve a 297-run target.
India looked set to post a mammoth total when they reached 267-1 following Sachin Tendulkar’s brilliant 111 for his 48th one-day hundred, but lost their last nine wickets for just 29 runs in nine overs to be bowled out for 296. Man of the match Steyn (5-50) played a key role in his team’s fightback to bag his maiden five-wicket haul in one-day internationals. India still top Group B with seven points from five matches.
Jacques Kallis (69), Hashim Amla (61), AB de Villiers (52), Faf du Plessis (25 not out) and JP Duminy (23) also contributed to South Africa’s win. Tendulkar earlier dominated the South African attack, cracking three sixes and eight fours in a 101-ball knock. He now needs just one more century to become the first player to score 100 international hundreds, having already made 51 in Test cricket.
South Africa’s attack came under pressure for the first time in four matches as Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag (73) and Gautam Gambhir (69) comfortably gathered runs. Sehwag, who survived on four and 70, hammered 12 fours in his 66-ball knock. He began his fifth successive innings with a four when he lofted Steyn over mid-on.
He had a lucky escape in the next over, his edge off Morne Morkel flying past Morne van Wyk. Tendulkar offered a difficult chance on 47 when he lofted spinner Peterson over extra cover but de Villiers, running in from long-off, failed to hold on to the ball.