Johannesburg: South Africa kept their winning streak in ‘Pink’ intact as they kept the series alive by pulling off a spectacular five-wicket win over India in the fourth ODI at the Wanderers on Saturday.
Chasing a revised target, wicket-keeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen played the innings of his life as he smacked a 27-ball 43 and was involved in a 72-run stand with David Miller (39) to take South Africa home with 12 balls remaining in a match that was reduced to 28 overs.
Courtesy this win, the hosts extended their winning streak in pink to six at the Wanderers. They were also boosted by the return of AB de Villiers, but it was Klaasen, who stole the show on Saturday.
De Villiers’ dismissal raised the Indian hopes of making it to four wins in a row but Miller, who was given a lifeline twice-both in an over by Yuzvendra Chahal made this opportunity count and whacked some out of the park to reinstate his reputation as a big-hitter.
Although Chahal finally got the better of Miller with the score at 174/5, the damage was done and it took some lusty blows from the bat of Andile Phehlukwayo (23 of 5 balls) which helped the hosts to their first win in the series so far. Chahal, who had been sensational had a really bad day at the office, conceding 68 runs in 5.3 overs with one wicket. Kuldeep, too began well but was taken for runs towards the end with his six overs yielding 51 runs with two wickets.
The 202-run target eventually proved to be too small for the hosts, who now have to win the next two matches as well to draw the series.
India batted first and Rohit Sharma’s failure in the series continued as he was caught and bowled by Kagiso Rabada early on in the innings. But skipper Virat Kohli who has been in supreme form and Shikhar Dhawan, playing his 100th ODI did the rebuilding work pretty decently as they stitched a 158-run stand that completely shifted the momentum in the favour of the visitors.
Dhawan who had looked good at the crease notched up a wonderful hundred, his 13th and in the process also became the first Indian to score a hundred in the 100th game. Kohli on the other hand continued to bat the way he has done so far and scored a classy 75.
But after Kohli and Dhawan (109) fell in a space of few overs, the Indians once again lost their way as they failed to get another partnership going. At one point of time, it looked as if they would cruise to another 300+ total but that wasn’t to be as the middle-order failed to contribute barring MS Dhoni (42*). The visitors eventually ended their first innings effort on 289/7.
South Africa 207/5 in 25.3 overs (Heinrich Klaasen 43*, David Miller 39; Kuldeep Yadav 2/51) beat India 289/7 (Shikhar Dhawan 109, Virat Kohli 75; Lungi Ngidi 2/52) by five wickets (DLS method)
(Match reduced to 28 overs)