INDIA overcame the absence of four top stars to beat South Africa by one run in a thrilling one-day international yesterday and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Wayne Parnell was run out off the final delivery, attempting a second run that would have tied the match, to leave the Proteas on 297 all out in reply to India's 298-9.
The tourists were tottering at 225-8 in the 43rd over when the ninth-wicket pair of Parnell and Dale Steyn swung the day-night match around by adding 65 runs off 38 balls.
South Africa, needing 26 off the final 12 deliveries, smashed 16 runs in the penultimate over of Ashish Nehra that included a six each by Parnell and Steyn.
With nine runs required from five deliveries, seamer Praveen Kumar bowled Steyn and conceded just seven more off the next four to hand India a thrilling win.
Parnell hit a defiant 49 off 47 balls and Steyn plundered an 18-ball 35, but the pair failed to take the tourists across the line at the Sawai Man Singh stadium in Jaipur.
Earlier, Suresh Raina top-scored with 58 off 63 balls and Virender Sehwag hammered a typically aggressive 46 off 37 balls as the hosts piled up 298-9 after being sent in to bat.
South Africa's stand-in captain Jacques Kallis starred for the tourists with both bat and ball, claiming 3-29 from seven overs with his medium-pace bowling before making a fluent 89. The veteran all-rounder hit six fours and a six before being eighth man out, bowled by Shanthakumaran Sreesanth. - Sapa-AFP