Dhoni delighted after fine Raina ton sends India into Super Eights

India 186-5 South Africa 172-5
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The Independent Online

Suresh Raina blasted 101 from 60 balls as India beat South Africa by 14 runs and moved into the Super Eights at the World Twenty20 in St Lucia yesterday. The Indian No 3 had come in after just two balls and hit nine fours and five sixes as he guided India to 186 for five. South Africa, opening their Group C campaign, could only manage 172 for five in reply, giving India two wins from two having beaten Afghanistan on Saturday.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith won the toss and elected to bowl. Rory Kleinveldt claimed the first wicket with his second ball as Murali Vijay went for a first-ball duck, caught behind by Mark Boucher. Raina and Yuvraj Singh came together at 32 for two and added 88 in 10.2 overs before Yuvraj was caught by Smith off Kleinveldt for 37.

Raina and Yusuf Pathan maintained the tempo, blasting Kleinveldt for 25 in the 18th over. Raina brought up his century with a six in the final over and was out next ball, caught by AB de Villiers off Albie Morkel before captain MS Dhoni added eight more runs, including a six off the last ball.

South Africa struggled to gain momentum in their run chase, and had only reached 57 for one at the halfway point. Kallis celebrated his 50 off 45 balls and moved South Africa past 100 with a six as he began to change gears, 16 coming from the 15th over.

Smith was run out for 36, ending a 97-run partnership, and Kallis quickly followed for 73. That left South Africa 128 for three with 21 balls remaining and 59 runs needed. It was too tall an order, despite De Villiers' 31 from 15 balls. Smith took the blame for his and Kallis' slow run-chase early in their innings but also pointed to an expensive last five overs with the ball. "Jacques and I left too much to do for the guys down the backstretch," he admitted. "But there were a few costly things in the field – 75 runs in the last five overs takes them to a total that's hard to get on this surface."

South Africa now face Afghanistan in Bridgetown, Barbados, next Wednesday, needing a victory over the qualifiers to progress.

India, by contrast, are through and their captain Dhoni was a happy man. "We've not seen many sides score this many runs in the last five overs, especially as the South African bowling attack is one of the best," he said. "We batted really well at the end and that mattered because if the par score is 170 and you end up getting 15 more runs then the opposition team is in trouble."

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