India in South Africa

Klaasen’s late flourish helps South Africa pull off thrilling win in Jo’burg, keep series alive

Chasing a revised target of 202 off 28 overs, the hosts crossed the line as lower-order batsmen rallied for a late flourish.

South Africa defeated India by five wickets in the rain-curtailed fourth one-day international at the Wanderers, Johannesburg on Saturday, to remain alive in the six-match series.

Opting to bat, India put up 289 for seven in the stipulated 50 overs. Chasing a revised target of 202 in 28 over after a second rain interruption, South Africa completed the job in 25.3 overs.

Wicketkeeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen was the star with the bat for the Proteas as he hit an unbeaten 43 off just 27-ball to be declared the man of the match. David Miller, riding on a dropped catch and getting bowled off a no ball in one Yuzvendra Chahal over, smashed a quickfire 33 before Andille Phehlukwayo finished off the proceedings in style with some meaty blows.

The Indian spinners ended up taking a hammering, after their impressive performances in the series earlier:
Yuzvendra Chahal 5.3-0-68-1. ER 12.36
Kuldeep Yadav 6-0-51-2. ER 8.50

At one point, with AB de Villiers’ wicket coming against the run of play for Hardik Pandya, India were on top but late flourish from the middle order took the game away from Virat Kohli and Co.

Here’s how the match unfolded:

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan made his 100th One-Day International appearance a memorable one, slamming a breezy century to guide India to 289/7 in their allotted 50 overs.

Eyeing their first-ever series win in South Africa, India could have got more but a rain interruption punctured their momentum after Dhawan’s hundred.

Dhawan, who put on 158 runs with skipper Virat Kohli (75), thus became the first Indian batsman to score a ton in his 100th ODI. Overall, he became the ninth player to reach this milestone.

This was after India won the toss and opted to bat on a true batting surface. The visitors made one change, bringing in Shreyas Iyer for Kedar Jadhav, who had suffered a hamstring injury during the third ODI at Cape Town. South Africa made two changes, bringing in Morne Morkel for Imran Tahir. AB de Villiers, who averages 112.50 in five Pink ODIs, replaced Khaya Zondo in the Proteas’ XI.

The Wanderers was expectedly bathed in pink for a good cause of creating awareness and raising funds for breast cancer.

A change in scenery though didn’t reverse Rohit Sharma’s floundering fortunes on this tour. He was out cheaply again, this time for 5 runs off 13 balls, as Kagiso Rabada (2-58) took a brilliant reflex return catch diving forward.

Dhawan and Kohli then came together, replicating their success from previous matches in the series. Kohli looked unstoppable and the highlight of his innings was a straight six off Lungi Ngidi (2-52) as the batsman just walked down and launched him over the sight-screen.

Against the run of play, the Proteas etched out a wicket as Kohli hit straight to cover off Morris in the 32nd over.
Thunder and lightning forced players off the field, after Dhawan reached his hundred off 103 ball. That break served South Africa well though as India lost two wickets in the space of 14 balls after resumption. First, Dhawan was caught at mid-off off Morne Morkel (1-55) and six balls later, Ajinkya Rahane (8) holed out to deep square leg. Shreyas Iyer (18) was sent out at No 5 and together with MS Dhoni (42* off 43 balls), he calmed the situation for India, before Iyer was caught at long on off Ngidi in a bid to get the scoring rate up.

Dhoni and Hardik Pandya (9) looked for big shots, but missed more than they hit, adding only 15 off 22 balls. Markram dismissed Pandya with a one-handed stunning catch at cover as India slipped further in their pursuit of 300.

India scored only 89 runs but lost five wickets after the rain break.

(With PTI inputs)

Brief scores

  • India 289/7 in 50 overs (Dhawan 109, Kohli 75, Dhoni 42*) lost to South Africa 207/5 in 25.3 overs (target 202 in 28 overs) (Klaasen 43*, Miller 39) by five wickets (DLS method).
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