Peterson outguns the Little Master

India 296 South Africa 300-7 (South Africa win by 3 wkts)
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The Independent Online

Robin Peterson hammered 16 runs off the final over to propel South Africa to a thrilling victory over theco-hosts India in the World Cup here yesterday.

Chasing 297 and needing 13 off the last six balls, Peterson (18no) hit a six and two fours to edge the Proteas to victory with two balls left and silence a passionate home crowd.

Sachin Tendulkar had setup an enthralling Group B encounter with a sparkling 111, his 99th international century. His fellow opener Virender Sehwag struck a quickfire 73 to contribute to India's seemingly unassaible position on 267 for 1 but they lost their remaining nine wickets for 29 runs in a remarkable collapse that left them all out for 296.

South Africa were always adrift of the required run-rate although Jacques Kallis (69), Hashim Amla (61) and AB de Villiers (52) kept them in the game until Peterson produced his late cameo.

"I'm extremely ecstatic at the moment," said Peterson. "To have a great game with so many great innings was such a good advert for the World Cup." His captain, Graeme Smith, added: "Robbie always tries to be the calmest in the team but I think his heart was pounding a little bit there."

India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni threw the ball to pace bowler Ashish Nehra for the final over where Harbhajan Singh's off-spin was an option. "You can say I was wrong maybe but I thought that the seamer could do the job for us," Dhoni admitted.

Tendulkar and Sehwag put on an opening stand of 142, but the Little Master's exit in the 40th over triggered a collapse of epic proportions after India looked set to go past 350.Pace bowler Dale Steyn grabbed 5 for 50.

After the early loss of Smith, Amla and Kallis put on 86 and then De Villiers hit seven fours in his 52 off 39 balls. But JP Duminy and Morne van Wyk fell cheaply before Johan Botha chipped in with 23 off 15 balls and Francois du Plessis 25 off 23. Peterson then struck two fours either side of a six to steal victory in a breathless climax.