March 25, 2018

South Africa win rain-curtailed 4th ODI vs India

11 February 2018, 06:49 | Joan Schultz

Kohli smashed his 34th ODI ton on Wednesday in Cape

Virat Kohli

There was plenty of praise for Shikhar Dhawan. At that stage, South Africa still needed 100 off 67 balls with the big guns gone. He was given out leg before wicket to Kagiso Rabada before he had scored. It is always hard under lights to chase at the Wanderers.

And there would be more. 113 minutes were lost and South Africa received a 202-run target from 28 overs. Markram gave credit to Kohli and the two spinners but added: "As much as they've played really well we've got ourselves to blame". At the centre of it all was a newbie. He then launched a free hit delivery so far into the night sky that it came down with a bit of star dust. He even one-upped his partner, sending a six so far into the crowd that the ball had to be changed. With these two wickets, things suddenly looked gloomy for India, who were at 210/4.

De Villiers' stay in the middle was ended by Pandya, after the former hold out to Rohit Sharma standing at square fine leg. Miller was bowled by Chahal, but for a no-ball.

During their 2010-11 tour of the Proteas, India were caught in a similar situation, leading the ODI series 2-1 under MS Dhoni, but the hosts bounced back to eventually clinch the five-match ODI series 3-2.

The first three games of the ODI series between India and South Africa were one-sided affairs. It could have been very different had Miller not been granted reprieves off Chahal. Andile Phehlukwayo was worse. Bowlers cramping Dhawan for room is normal in any form of cricket.

As India piled up runs at the scoreboard, Dhawan hit his 13th hundred in his 100th ODI appearance to become the first Indian to do so.

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South Africa did not allow him any runs on the cut until the 43rd delivery he faced. There are still three matches to go, and the SA team will have to perform better. At one point, he was 85 off only 75 balls, with flicks reminiscent of Sanath Jayasuriya and drives - the first one especially - that could fit into a Matthew Hayden highlight reel.

After struggling mostly in the initial overs, Dhawan went on to hit flurry of boundaries while Kohli, coming fresh from an unbeaten 160 in the third ODI, continued where he left in the last game. A blessing in disguise to have that break to break their momentum. It was the 8th century partnership for the 2nd wicket between these two batsmen, the most in ODIs Indian cricket, drawing level with Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid who also have eight.

India, who played the same side for the three games chose to make one change in the playing eleven with Kedar Jadhav making place for Shreyas Iyer who will be playing his 1st ODI in South Africa. With the maiden ODI series victory well within their reach, they will be raring to take the field on Saturday, amidst the pink, of course. His final five overs - bowled from the 33rd to the 49th - cost only 28 runs and yielded only one boundary.

The pair of Miller and Heinrich Klaasen came down heavy on Chahal and Kuldeep in back-to-back overs to bring up their 50 runs stand in 30-balls. After Dhawan's dismissal in the 36th over, India could only manage 83 runs off 87 balls.

South Africa used seven bowlers in all with Ismail (4/30) the pick while the team will be pleased that Chloe Tryon (2/48) was able to bowl a full quota of ten overs for the first time since returning from injury.

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