Port Elizabeth: Breaking records has been pretty much of a daily affair for Virat Kohli’s team India. After losing the forth ODI at the Wanderers, the Indian team bounced back in grand fashion the win the fifth ODI by 73 runs in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
Kohli and his team, who already lead the series 4-1 have now, become the first Indian side in 25 years of bilateral cricket, to have won an ODI series in the, ‘Rainbow Nation’.
After a disappointing Test series where they ended up losing 2-1, it always required a massive effort to upstage the hosts in the 50-over format. Although injuries to some key players helped their cause, yet the temperament and character shown by this Indian side is indeed praiseworthy.
Skipper Kohli, who has led by example by amassing 429 runs in five innings-with two hundreds and a fifty and spinners Kuldeep Yadav (16 wickets) and Yuzvendra Chahal (14 wickets) have been the main architects of this famous moment for Indian cricket, which would be remembered for a long time to come.
The South Africans showed glimpses of the team they are known to be in the fourth ODI but it was a hundred from an out-of-form Rohit Sharma (115) coupled with some brilliance from Kuldeep Yadav, that helped India storm to a win in Port Elizabeth.
Sharma and his partner Shikhar Dhawan gave the Indian innings a flying start, scoring 48 runs in just 7.1 overs before the latter hooked a short ball from Kagiso Rabada, straight to Andile Phehlukwayo at backward short leg.
But Sharma, who has had a disappointing tour so far looked to be batting on a different level altogether as he joined hands with skipper Kohli and stitched a 105-run stand that brought back India into the contest. Just when it looked like the no 1 team would cruise to a huge total, the skipper was involved in a terrible mix-up that saw him getting dismissed for a well-made 36.
But Rohit, batted with a blend of patience and aggression and scored his first century in South Africa-his 17th in total but his untimely dismissal once again triggered an Indian middle-order collapse as from being 236/4 at the 43rd over mark, they were restricted to just 274/7.
Lungisani Ngidi was the most successful bowler for the hosts, bagging four wickets for 51 runs in his nine overs. In reply, the Proteas got off to a decent start with openers skipper Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla putting on 52 runs. Jasprit Bumrah got the breakthrough, sending back the captain for 32 runs.
Hardik Pandya then came into the act as he dismissed both JP Duminy and the talismanic AB de Villiers in a space of two overs to leave the hosts reeling at 65/3 at the 13-over mark.
Amla (71), who had batted with responsibility all this while then stitched 64 runs with David Miller to bring back the hosts into the contest but the latter didn’t last long like the last game, scoring only 36 before being bowled by Chahal (2/43).
Kuldeep Yadav then came into the act, showcasing his wrist-spin skills as he took four wickets to derail the Proteas’ chase.
Heinrich Klaasen, who had won the match for his team in the fourth ODI played a gritty 39-run knock but his resistance was short-libed as eventually the hosts ended up with only 201 runs.
South Africa 201 all out in 42.2 overs (Hashim Amla 71, Heinrich Klaasen 39; Kuldeep Yadav 4/57) lost to India 274/7 (Rohit Sharma 115, Virat Kohli 36; Lungisani Ngidi 4/51) by 73 runs.