Ganguly strikes victory for art over science

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The Independent Online

India 295-6 South Africa 200 India win by 95 runs

India 295-6 South Africa 200 India win by 95 runs

SOUTH AFRICA'S sleek efficiency showed its vulnerability to individual brilliance after a magnificent innings of 141 by Sourav Ganguly enabled India to score a commanding 295, a total South Africa never threatened, having lost early wickets. The victory leaves India facing New Zealand in tomorrow's final, a match worth $250,000 (£177,000) to the winners.

In some ways, this was art versus science, with the wristy nonchalance of Ganguly prevailing over the rigours of South Africa's much vaunted pace attack. Only Allan Donald came through relatively unscathed, as India's captain took 14 fours and six sixes off an attack powerless to respond.

Choosing to bat first on another superb pitch, the captain played himself in as Sachin Tendulkar put Shaun Pollock and Roger Telemachus under pressure with a sumptuous array of shots. Last Tuesday, against England, the same bowlers conceded five runs from their opening eight overs. Yesterday, 43 runs resulted.

Tendulkar fell on 39 to Jacques Kallis but the breakthrough just paved the way for a stand of 145 runs in 25 overs between Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, who made 58.

While Ganguly hit the spinner Nicky Boje out of the attack, with three effortless sixes, Dravid played second fiddle, producing a repertoire that veered between the classical and the improvised, as when he swept Kallis from outside off-stump to the midwicket fence.

Later, support came from new 19-year old wunderkind Yuvraj Singh. A strapping lad, the left-hander has more finesse than Andrew Flintoff, while lacking none of the power. Dropped on one when Boje failed to take a steepler he thumped his way to 41 off 35 balls as the innings neared its end.

Despite that cameo his impact on the match was not over and following Andrew Hall's dismissal in the third over to a yorker from left-arm opening bowler Zaheer Khan, the youngster was instrumental in running out Gary Kirsten a few balls later.

It all started with a misfield in the covers which he chased to the boundary, where he swooped and threw the ball in one motion to Ganguly at mid-off. Confused by this tactic, Kirsten hesitated as Kallis came through for the third run, a lapse that allowed Ganguly time to throw to the keeper, who promptly removed the bails.

But if that was not enough for the tyro, he was in the thick of it again, claiming the wicket of Jonty Rhodes with his left-arm spin, after the Natal man and Mark Boucher had threatened to redress the early losses by adding 56 for the fifth wicket.

Boucher, who played with pluck and aggression, fell for 60 to a low catch by Tendulkar at mid-on. Adjudication by the third umpire was needed to see if it carried, but once that decision had gone India's way, the rest of the batting, including occasional miracle worker Lance Klusener, tamely fell away.

India won toss

INDIA

*S C Ganguly not out 141 S R Tendulkar c Klusener b Kallis 39 R Dravid c Boucher b Klusener 58 Yuvraj Singh c Rhodes b Kallis 41 R R Singh run out 0 V G Kambli lbw b Donald 0 ÿV Dahiya c Hall b Donald 1 Extras (b1 lb6 w5 nb3) 15

Total (for 6, 50 overs) 295

Fall: 1-66 2-211 3-293 4-293 5-293 6-295.

Did not bat: A B Agarkar, A Kumble, Z Khan, B K V Prasad;

Bowling: Pollock 10-1-43-0; Telemachus 9-0-62-0; Donald 10-1-34-2; Kallis 10-0-71-2; Klusener 6-0-29-1; Boje 2-0-26-0; Hall 3-0-23-0.

SOUTH AFRICA

G Kirsten run out 12 A J Hall b Khan 1 J H Kallis c Ganguly b Prasad 15 H H Dippenaar c Dahiya b Khan 5 J N Rhodes c Prasad b Yuvraj 32 ÿM V Boucher c Tendulkar b Ganguly 60 L Klusener c Dahiya b Kumble 29 *S M Pollock st Dahiya b Kumble 4 N Boje b Tendulkar 10 R Telemachus c Prasad b Tendulkar 13 A A Donald not out 1 Extras (b3, lb4, w7, nb4) 18

Total (41 overs) 200

Fall: 1-13 2-23 3-28 4-50 5-106 6-161 7-171 8-179 9-199.

Bowling: Khan 5-0-27-2; Prasad 8-0-54-1; Kumble 9-1-28-2; Agarkar 7-1-21-0; Yuvraj 4-1-15-1; Tendulkar 5-0-32-2; R R Singh 2-0-11-0; Ganguly 1-0-5-1.

Umpires: S A Bucknor (WI) and P Willey (Eng).

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