Top 5 India-South Africa ODI encounters
Almost every ODI series between India and South Africa is a keenly contested one. Ever since the latter’s readmission, both teams have managed to win 5 ODI series each and have drawn 1 (out of the 11 that they have played).
However, India have never won an ODI series in the Rainbow Nation. Their best result came in 2010/11 when MS Dhoni-led Indian side lost 2-3. However, with No. 1 (South Africa) and No. 2 (India) facing off against each other in a 6-match series, we can expect a few close games.
Thus, as the ODI series nears, let’s take a look back at the top 5 ODI games these two teams have played against each other.
#5 Colombo, 2002 Champions Trophy (Semi-final)
After facing off in the semi-final of the Knockout Trophy (which was renamed as Champions Trophy) in 2000, South Africa and India faced off against each other once again in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy.
In a pressure game (in Colombo), Indian captain Sourav Ganguly won the toss and elected to bat first. Virender Sehwag (58) helped India get off to a flier as India reached 100 in the 16th over. However, wickets at regular intervals pecked them back as the Proteas bowlers started to take control of the game. Yuvraj Singh’s 62 and Rahul Dravid’s 49 helped the Men in Blue reach a competitive total of 261.
Chasing 262, South Africa lost Graeme Smith early. But Herschelle Gibbs and Jacques Kallis forged a superb 178-run stand for the second wicket. Gibbs who had scored 116 (his second successive ton in the tournament) suffered from severe cramps and was forced off the field in the 37th over of the chase. The Proteas needed just 70 more at that stage to book their place in the final.
However, Gibbs’s departure helped India tighten the screws as they dried out the runs and kept picking wickets at regular intervals. South Africa, though, had their hopes pinned on Kallis who was batting very well. But even he couldn’t take his team over the line as India’s spinners bowled them to a famous win.
Sehwag and Harbhajan combined to pick 5 wickets and Yuvraj’s brilliance in the field also made a difference as India booked their place in the final.
Brief Scores: India 261/9 (Sehwag 58, Yuvraj 62, Pollock 3/43, Donald 2/41) beat South Africa 251/6 (Gibbs 116 – retired hurt, Kallis 97, Sehwag 3/25, Harbhajan 2/37)