Raina ton helps India set 187-run target for SA
GROS ISLET, Saint Lucia: Opener Suresh Raina’s brilliant century helped India set a huge target of 187 runs for South Africa here on Sunday.
After South Africa captain Graeme Smith won the toss and elected to field against India in the Group C World Twenty20 match, the Indians piled up 186 runs for the loss of five wickets in the allotted 20 overs at the Beausejour Stadium.
Raina''s century, 101 off 60 balls, was the centre-piece of India''s big total in the Group ''C'' match. He smashed five sixes and nine fours and became only the third batsman to score a Twenty20 international century.
Only West Indies'' Chris Gayle and New Zealand''s Brendon McCullum had previously made centuries at this level.
Together with Yuvraj Singh (37) he added 88 runs in 10 overs for the third wicket partnership after the pair came together with India 32 for two in the sixth over.
However, no other batsman could make any good contribution in an effort to accelerate the run-rate.
South African pacer Rory Kleinveldt claimed two wickets while Dale Steyn, Jacques Kallis and Albie Morkel took one wicket each.
India made two changes from the side that beat Afghanistan by seven wickets here on Saturday.
Opening batsman Gautam Gambhir was ruled out with stomach illness and his place was taken by Dinesh Karthik.
And, in a tactical switch, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla replaced fast bowler Zaheer Khan.
This was South Africa''s first match of the tournament and the Proteas opted to use the big-hitting Loots Bosman as captain Graeme Smith''s partner at the top of the order.
India: Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wk), Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla, Ashish Nehra
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Loots Bosman, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher (wk), Albie Morkel, Roelof van der Merwe, Morne Morkel, Rory Kleinveldt, Dale Steyn.