x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Dhoni praises his bowlers as India win by one run

South Africa collapse at the Wanderers as the tourists level the one-day series at 1-1.

JOHANNESBURG // Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni thanked his bowlers for getting the batsmen out of jail after India claimed an unlikely one-run win over South Africa in the second one-day international.

The tourists managed just 190 at the Wanderers, with Yuvraj Singh (53) the only man to pass 50, and were staring defeat in the face with the Proteas on 152 for four.

But Munaf Patel (four for 29) removed key man Graeme Smith (77) as the India attack effected a South African batting collapse to level the series at 1-1.

“It’s a big win for us,” Dhoni said on Sky Sports 4. “It was a good pitch and we were short maybe 40-45 runs short.

“We got off to a good start but after that we lost wickets in quick succession.

“It’s a terrific performance by the bowlers. They bowled really well, bowled in the right areas and put pressure on the South Africa batsmen.”

South Africa set up what should have been a comfortable victory on the back of a disciplined bowling performance led by Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who took a career-best four for 22 off his 10 overs.

But on the day he overtook Hansie Cronje to become his nation’s most capped one-day captain, Smith was clearly disappointed no other South Africa batsman could match his application.

“Congratulations to India,” he said. “They held their nerve well.

“We played some good cricket for 70 overs but some of our decision-making wasn’t good enough.

“I would have liked to be there longer. Munaf got me with a slower ball. It just needed someone to build a partnership with me in that middle third.”

Of Tsotsobe, Smith added: “He bowled incredibly well. It was a top bowling and fielding performance from all of us.

“But credit to India. We’ve got to regroup and look at the few things we did wrong.”