Magic Pink Proteas stay alive against India

South Africa remain alive in their Momentum one-day international series against India when they secured a five-wicket Duckworth-Lewis victory at Bidvest Wanderers on Johannesburg on Saturday.

The Proteas were set a revised target of 202 in 28 overs after rain forced the players from the field with the home side on 43 for one after 7.2 overs in pursuit of 290 after India had been restricted to 289 for seven in their 50 overs after Virat Kohli had won the toss and elected to bat first.

Aiden Markram had been trapped in front by Jasprit Bumrah (5-0-21-1) as the heavens opened up with JP Duminy (10) joining Hashim Amla at the crease when play resumed. Duminy faced just 14 deliveries before being trapped leg before by the legspin of Kuldeep Yadav (6-0-51-2) but the Amla was joined by crowd-pleaser AB de Villiers.

But Amla fell shortly afterwards, being trapped in front by Yadav for 33 from 40 deliveries with four boundaries. De Villiers went on the offensive, smashing Yadav for consecutive sixes in a stand worth 25 from 17 balls with David Miller before whipping a ball from Hardik Pandya (5-0-37-1) straight down the throat of Rohit Sharma on the fine leg boundary for 26 from 18 balls.

Once De Villiers departed, the sense around the ground was that the fans and players alike had given up on the chase with the Proteas still needing 100 runs at nearly 10 runs to the over. Miller was dropped by Shreyas Iyer on six and then bowled off a no-ball from Yuzvendra Chahal (5.3-0-68-1) with his score on seven.

The two lives seemed to wake the left-handed middle order batsman up as Miller went mad, smashing four boundaries and two huge maximums before playing round a delivery from Chahal to be trapped in front for 39 from 28 balls. Miller’s aggression helped the Proteas towards the finishing line after sharing in a quick-fire 72-run stand for the fifth-wicket with man of the match Heinrich Klaasen that came off just 45 balls.

With Miller walking back to the changerooms, India would have felt that they were back in the game but instead of sending out Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo walked out and smashed 23 runs from five deliveries, smashing three sixes and a four while Klaasen ended unbeaten on 43 off just 27 balls with five fours and a six.

Earlier, India had seemed in total control when lightening forced the players off the field with the total on 200 for two with Shikhar Dhawan in full flight. Kagiso Rabada (10-0-58-2) had dismissed Sharma (5) early on by taking a good, low return catch off his own bowling but then Dhawan and Kohli (75) got together and worked the Proteas attack to all parts of the park, adding 158 runs for the second wicket off 165 balls.

But then Morris (10-0-60-1) made the breakthrough when he had Kohli caught in the covers by Miller but Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane (8) added 22 runs off 20 balls before the umpires, Bongani Jele and Aleem Dar, took the players off the field.

The break seemed to do the home side good as they came storming back after the break, dismissing Dhawan for 109 and then Rahane to leave the visitors on 210 for four. Dhawan’s century came off 105 balls with 10 fours and two sixes while becoming the first Indian to score a century in his 100th ODI.

Once Dhawan chipped Morne Morkel (10-0-55-1) to De Villiers at mid-off and Rahane hit Lungi Ngidi (10-0-52-2) straight to Rabada on the mid-wicket boundary, the Indians started to lose their way. Iyer (18) struck two boundaries before being caught on the long-on boundary off Ngidi and then Pandya (9) was brilliantly caught by Markram, who took a leaping one-handed catch off Rabada in the covers.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5) was run out by Miller but MS Dhoni was unable to push his side over the 300-run mark with his unbeaten 42 from 43 balls which included three fours and a six.

South Africa’s victory keeps their Pink Day ODI status intact but India still lead the six-match series 3-1 as the teams head to St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday before finishing off next Friday in Centurion.

Author: Brendon

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