India: South Africa eyes maiden one-day series win on Indian soil against jittery hosts

South Africa's cricketers are excited at the prospect of clinching their maiden limited-overs series victory on Indian soil against jittery hosts whose batting has crumbled against fiery pace. Leading 2-1 going into Monday's fifth and final one-dayer, South Africa is on the upswing after a resounding 10-wicket triumph in the fourth match.

India stopped South Africa's 20-match unbeaten spree during the current series, but the Proteas have piled up the pressure on the home side that must win Monday's contest to avert an embarrassing defeat soon after the Indians spiked Sri Lanka's challenge 6-1 in a one-day series.

"We've carrying a lot of momentum going into the last match," South Africa's vice captain Mark Boucher said Sunday. India was the country that South Africa first toured on its return to the international cricket arena in 1991, ending a long ban due to Pretoria's policy of racial segregation.

South Africa won its maiden test series in India five years ago, but has failed to achieve the feat in four previous limited-overs contests. South Africa won the test 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 initiative with a huge win in Friday's fourth one-dayer after the Indian batting crashed on a pitch that aided the tourists' pace attack. Indian skipper Rahul Dravid said he was hoping to get a good start after faltering in the last game, where its top-order crash placed the game in South Africa's grip.

Dravid said India started the season on a very low ebb, losing tri-series finals to Sri Lanka and New Zealand. He said the Indian team did quite well in the home one-dayers against Sri Lanka. India's coach Greg Chappell said he didn't want the players to worry about what happened in the last game, but to gain from the lessons learnt, the AP reports.


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