Proteas fall agonisingly short

India and South Africa serve up another thrilling finish, this time in the one-day format of the game.

India and South Africa served up another thrilling finish yesterday, this time in the one-day format of the game. Just days after the nerve-jangling end to the second Test in Kolkata, this one also went down to the wire, with India again prevailing - but only just.

Chasing 299 for victory South Africa looked dead and buried when Jacques Kallis was eighth man out for a top score of 89. But Wayne Parnell (49 off 47 deliveries) and Dale Steyn (35 from 19) put on 65 runs for the ninth wicket to put the Proteas within touching distance of a famous win. They whittled the equation down to 10 off the last over, bowled by Praveen Kumar who tipped the balance back in the home side's favour by cleaning bowling Steyn with the second ball of the last over. South Africa still kept the game alive until the final delivery but, with four runs needed, Parnell was run out coming back for a second.

Earlier, Virender Sehwag (46) and Dinesh Karthik (44) had laid a solid foundation, while Suresh Raina (58) helped consolidate with his 15th ODI half-century as India made 298 for nine. "It was a team effort, overall quite happy with the batting but we need to be fractionally better with the bowler," said MS Dhoni, the India captain. Defeat was harsh on Kallis, who was pipped to the man-of-the-match award by Ravindra Jadeja , the off-spinning all-rounder who conceded just 29 runs from his 10 overs. "I wanted to bowl stump to stump and not give easy runs to them. I was concentrating on the upcoming games [after being suspended from the IPL]," said Jadeja.

* With agencies