Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

India vs South Africa: Port Elizabeth Poses Challenge Before Virat Kohli's Men

India vs South Africa: Port Elizabeth Poses Challenge Before Virat Kohli's Men

South Africa can't ask for better than AB de Villiers who earlier failed to appear in first three ODIs over injury issues but now returned to the Side for all important Pink-Day match against dominant India at New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday. 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.

Playing in his 100th ODI for India, Shikhar Dhawan made it an occasion to remember as he slammed his 13th century in style.

Their bowling figures were ugly, with Chahal conceding 68 runs in 5.3 overs, and Kuldeep 51 in 6 overs, with economy rates of 12.36 and 8.50 respectively. The inevitable dampness added to the woes of the side, with the two wrist-spinners - Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav - failing to grip the ball well.

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. India reached the 200-run mark just ahead of the 35th over and from that point, they definitely needed to get a lot more than 289.

Shikhar Dhawan could not have had a more memorable match, as he became the first Indian to score a hundred on his 100th One-Day International.

One can imagine what can be Shastri's interpretation of the maiden series win here in South Africa, should it happen and when it happens. India went into the game 3-0 ahead but twin weather breaks coupled with afew missed chances brought a halt to their rampaging ODI run as South Africa kept the series alive.

Speaking at the post-match media conference, Dhawan said: "The main reason (for the loss) was, of course, the dropped catch and then a wicket off no-ball". Both of them picked two wickets each.

Klaasen and Andile Phehlukwayo finished things off for the Proteas as they forged an unbeaten 33-run stand.

Proteas star batsman AB De Villiers said,"We realise the importance of highlighting awareness around breast cancer and for us to play in pink is our way of contributing to the campaign". "If it was a full game you never know", he said. These two spinners have won three games for us.

It's not as if either Chahal or Yadav are new to the scene; the former's been contracted in the IPL for the past six years, although he only really made a breakthrough in 2015 for the Bangalore franchise, while Yadav has been on the books of a couple of IPL sides too and been an global player for the past year. The sweeps are shots he has learnt in a country where they say align your outer eye with the off-stump line and sweep everything that is outside.

Between them they managed to take just 3 wickets. "They are fearless and even on flatter pitches, wrist spinners will also come into play", he explained.

But miraculously for South Africa, television replays revealed that the delivery was a no-ball and Miller was back in the middle. After that we said anything in the slot we must back ourselves to hit, we got a couple of boundaries and then we were just very calculated.

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