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India stuns SA, series level at 1-1

India pulled off a stunning victory from the jaws of defeat and showed resilience in bouncing back once again when they defeated South Africa by the thinnest of the margins in the second ODI here at Johannesburg. Munaf Patel became the hero of the improbable victory when he plucked the two remaining wickets to shunt the Proteas out for 189, just one short of India's paltry score of 190.

India pulled off a stunning victory from the jaws of defeat and showed resilience in bouncing back once again when they defeated South Africa by the thinnest of the margins in the second ODI here at Johannesburg. Munaf Patel became the hero of the improbable victory when he plucked the two remaining wickets to shunt the Proteas out for 189, just one short of India's paltry score of 190.

Cruising at 152/4, it was thought that India had already accepted defeat in the match, when Munaf castled Graeme Smith (77) triggering a collapse. Still at 177/8 and with plenty of overs to go, it was a South African game, but Munaf came back in the 43rd over to return Morne Morkel and Wayne Parnell to land India to victory and restore parity in the series. It was a match to remember as, similar to the Test series when India came back from a match down to level the series, the ODI series also came alive when it was thought that the Proteas would be running away with the match with glory.

The wicket seemingly looked like a juicy batting strip. But it proved that looks could be deceptive as shot making became extremely difficult as the game progressed with the ball stopping occasionally. Coupled with some deft bowling by India kept the South Africans always play a guessing game as the wickets tumbled and the target became closer.

Earlier, the Indian top order again returned a cropper, collapsing in a similar fashion to the South African innings. From 150/4, Indian innings crashed at 190. Yuvaraj Singh finally announced his arrival to forms with a polished 53, Virat Kohli (22) showed promises but couldn't sustain, Sachin Tendulkar (24) showed glimpses of his form while MS Dhoni (38) perished while trying to force the pace. While 190 was suspected to be atleast 50 runs short of the expected target, eventually it emerged as a winning total, thanks to the gritty character this bunch of cricketers have transformed themselves into. The challenge was not to give in which led the team to walk that extra mile and ask for the sunshine.

Let's hope the challenge remains rooted for the rest of the series and remains till the World Cup.

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