SA set India challenging target

Jacques Kallis fell nine runs short of his 14th one-day century on Monday, but helped South Africa recover from a shaky start and set India a challenging target in the fifth and final limited-overs cricket international.

Kallis posted a composed 91 to overcome a spell of India’s spin domination and boost South Africa’s score to 221 for six in 50 overs.

Kallis struck five boundaries during his 146-ball knock and shared an innings-building partnership of 81 for the fourth wicket with vice-captain Mark Boucher (35) after South Africa’s top order got bogged down by an accurate attack.

Holding the innings together until his departure in the penultimate over, Kallis lofted the ball to Mohammad Kaif at long-on and become the third victim of paceman Irfan Pathan (3-20).

Leading 2-1 going into the final match, South Africa are looking to clinch their maiden one-day series on Indian soil.

South Africa won the series opener by five wickets, then India clinched the second match by six wickets and the third game was washed out without a ball being bowled. South Africa regained the edge as they outplayed India by 10 wickets in the fourth one-dayer on Friday.

Asked to bat first by Indian captain Rahul Dravid, South Africa lost opener Andrew Hall (four) on the match’s 15th delivery when left-arm paceman Pathan’s inswinger dislodged the off-stump.

Skipper Graeme Smith compiled a 29-ball 24, but could not reproduce the sparkling strokes of his unbeaten century during the fourth one-dayer on Friday.

Left-hander Smith miscued a leg-side stroke off Pathan that was caught by Harbhajan Singh at square-leg as South Africa sank to 36 for two.

Ashwell Prince contributed just nine runs after being bogged down by the spinners during his 32-ball knock that ended as he top-edged spinner Harbhajan Singh for an easy catch to Yuvraj Singh at short fine-leg.

Boucher patiently grafted for runs while helping Kallis repair the damage during their 120-ball partnership that ended when Boucher was caught by Harbhajan Singh at square-leg off part-time spinner Virender Sehwag.

Justin Kemp (11) fell cheaply to Harbhajan Singh (2-32), but Pollock executed some big strokes in his unbeaten 30 off 17 balls.—Sapa-AP

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