Tuesday, 20 February, 2018

Late hitting heroics keep South Africa alive in ODI series against India

Virat Kohli wrist spinners dazzle in India's 124-run win over South Africa take unassailable 3-0 lead India vs South Africa: Fit-Again AB de Villiers Returns To SA Squad For Remaining Three ODIs
Rita Gibson | 12 February, 2018, 07:53

Opener Shikhar Dhawan said twin rain breaks coupled with reprieves to David Miller cost India dearly as South Africa brought an halt to the visitor's rampaging ODI run with a five-wicket win in the fourth ODI. However, the Indian cricket team skipper sailed past yet another landmark as he went past Mohammad Azharuddin (9378 runs) to join the top five list of Indian run-getters in ODIs. And yet, with their talisman AB de Villiers gone with the game in the balance, South Africa were back to square one: shaky middle order against India's wristspinners. "I think they played with a lot of character in the end, they pulled through, they deserved to win", the India captain said. For the longest time, India was dominant, Shikhar Dhawan's 109 leading the way. South Africa upheld its record of never losing a Pink Day ODI and defeated India by 5 wickets. Dhawan also felt that spinners Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were troubled by the wet field conditions at the New Wanderers Stadium.

Virat Kohli rued his team's misfortune but admitted that South Africa were deserving winners as they showed a lot of character during their five-wicket win in the fourth ODI here.

"Then the wicket got considerably slower after the 30th over, so you had to again adjust your game, and make sure, with wickets falling also, that you continued adjusting through the innings", Kohli said.

With his century, Dhawan made history by becoming the first Indian and ninth player overall to score a hundred in their 100th ODI.

Olympic Protest: South Koreans Burn North Korean Flags, Images of Kim Jong
Athletes from the two countries marched side by side during the opening ceremony and have formed a joint women's hockey team. In short, the winter Olympics at Pyeongchang is fast turning into a metaphorical wedge to split an uneasy alliance.

If Lendl Simmons benefited from off-spinner R Ashwin and medium-pacer Hardik Pandya overstepping in a thrilling tie at the Wankhede, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah was the culprit in the Champions Trophy summit clash at the Oval. He asserted South Africa's position of strength by dispatching Kuldeep into the stands.

Virat Kohli's men had outplayed the hosts in the first three matches to take an unassailable lead and looked all set to clinch their maiden bilateral series on South African soil when Chahal bowed Miller (then on seven). The Indians also had themselves to blame as Miller was given two lives - a dropped catch and then bowled off a no-ball by Yuzvendra Chahal.

The match was well over before the stipulated 50 overs as SA crashed to a 124 run defeat. In any case, when the match is hurtling at pace, there is always the danger that you leave your best bowlers on the day unused if you keep them for too late - which is what happened to India. When he got out I wanted to accelerate but we lost 2-3 wickets immediately. These two spinners won three games for us. Sometimes luck favours the opposition too and not just our side. "He took that chance with both hands and went on to change the momentum of the game", he said. More exposure in conditions where spin is the primary mode of attack has helped and the likes of Amla, Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers have developed methods that have seen them dominate against spin.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni was 42 not out at the end but India scored just 59 runs off the last 10 overs to give South Africa a way back into the series.

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