Johannesburg: South Africa skipper Johan Botha conceded that the one-off Twenty20 match against India was evenly poised before rain stopped play, helping the hosts to emerge as winners by 11 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method at the Wanderers on Friday.
Chasing 220 to win, openers Gautam Gambhir (49) and Robin Uthappa (18) gave India a blistering start, putting on 71 in just 7.5 overs when the heavens opened up. After roughly 45 minutes, the match was called off, with India deemed to have been 11 runs short of where they should have been.
"It was evenly poised. Gauti and Robin stared well but our guys also batted well on an excellent strip and I think going the way they did and getting 220 was excellent," said Botha after the match. "They were batting well, they played a few shots and it was going their way, but still there was scoring around nine runs per over and we thought if we can string a few overs at 8 or 7 runs, I mean it is still plenty to get in 10 overs, we were still feeling comfortable."
Botha praised Colin Ingram (78) and Jacques Kallis (61) for giving South Africa a good total to defend. "The whole motive of the match was to relax and play as you see it. It showed what we can do if we just go out and watch the ball and hit it," he said.
"Colin played within himself and definitely did a great job. I knew he can do it and I am glad he could it on an international stage. There are few young guys who came in and put their hands up. It was nice for Kallis and Colin to give us a good platform. A 100-run partnership is good in any format, but in Twenty20 it is better. They provided a good base for us to launch the total."
The fifth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will get underway from April 4 and Botha said he and his teammates are looking forward to performing for their respective franchises in the two-month long T20 tournament in India. "We are looking forward to the IPL. A lot of my team-mates would be my opposition, it is great to be part of the tournament and we are really looking forward to it," he said.