Can Kohli and Co get their 4th win? SA need to win again to keep series alive.
Indian women begin T20I campaign in style: As it happened, here.
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WRAP UP: A series win that will go down in the history books, as Virat Kohli and Co put in yet another dominating performance. It was yet another instance of the top order clicking with the bat and the wrist spinners taking care of the rest - not to forget the crucial role of Hardik Pandya, who took the wicket of ABD and ran out Hashim Amla, and decisively swung the match in Kohli’s favour.
That’s it from us, goodnight!
Man of the match is Rohit Sharma, for his first ODI ton in South Africa - ending a barren run. “Long time coming,” he says.
Aiden Markram says there’s plenty of pride to play for in the final ODI while Kohli is visibly delighted with this series win. “Feels wonderful to have created history. We have had a great time since the third Test”
12:10 am: First time, a series win in South Africa for Team India...
HISTORIC SERIES WIN FOR INDIA: Chahal, fittingly, gets the final wicket as Morkel is trapped plumb in front. South Africa all out for 201, India win by 73 runs and record their first ever series win in South Africa,
After 42 overs, SA 201/9 - Make that 3 in the over for Kuldeep: What a catch by Pandya! Not by design though, big miscommunication with Dhawan as Shamsi skies one high and mighty - ends up taking the catch by stretching out one hand. Kohli loved that one.
After 41.4 overs, SA 197/8 - TWO WICKETS FOR KULDEEP: And it’s only a formality now. (If it wasn’t earlier) Kuldeep gets his second and third wickets of the day. Rabada looks to score after some dot balls. It’s flighted and its the wrong ‘un. Rabada doesn’t read it and hits it straight to Chahal at midwicket. And then Klaasen had no option but to hit out. He steps out and fails to connect. Dhoni makes no mistake behind the stumps - lightning quick as usual.
After 40 overs, SA 192/6 - need 83 runs off 60 balls: Pandya has been fantastic today with the ball! Concedes just two runs off his 9th over, which he finishes with a bouncer that has left Rabada needing a new helmet. Bumrah back from the other end, keeps Klaasen quiet. Just
Rabada is on 1 off 12 balls... something’s gotta give one thinks.
After 38 overs, SA 187/6 - need 88 runs from 72 balls: Wait, wait. Don’t celebrate too early Indian fans. The man of the match from Jo’burg is still in the middle and isn’t done with this run chase yet. Klaasen plunders 16 runs from Kuldeep’s over! First a lofted off drive over mid-off for six, followed by a pull short underneath Chahal at deep square leg and finally, a booming straight hit for six. This chase is still on.
SA 168/6 after 36 overs: Phehlukwayo gone for duck. Doesn’t read the wrong ‘un at all from Kuldeep, beaten all ends up by that. Six down and the lengthy tail exposed all too early for SA’s liking. India on course for a series-clinching win.
SA 166/5 after 34.3 overs: BIG, BIG WICKET! Is that the game, and series, for India? Amla is run-out on a day of run-outs! Pandya with a direct hit - he has been on the mark with the ball and now delivers a big blow that has Kohli jumping around. Amla scampers for a quick run, he stretches his bat in as the ball comes in, but the bat is stuck on the crease. FINE, FINE MARGIN - UMPIRE DECIDES OUT. (Amla runout by Pandya again - remember the second Test)
DRINKS, SA 160/4 after 33 overs, need 115 runs in 102 balls: Six from Bhuvi’s over, thanks to a drive on the up past mid off by Amla who moves on to 67. He’s looking in good touch now after a dry spell against the spinners early on.
After 32 overs, SA 154/4 - 121 runs needed off 108 balls: Good phase for South Africa this. Getting run a ball without too many risks. An over each for Chahal and Kuldeep after Pandya bowls his 7th (gone for 26 so far, great effort) - and the South Africans get 15 from those 2 by a combination of a powerful Klassen sweep and Amla finding the gaps nicely for a few twos.
Bhuvi back in the attack as Kohli searches for a wicket again...
After 29 overs, SA 134/4 - FIFTY FOR AMLA! But not before a let off. Virat Kohli gets into an argument with the umpire after a LBW appeal from Chahal when Amla went for the sweep and missed it. We would bet Kohli would have gone for a review if he had one left - and he would have got Amla out! THREE REDS on the Hawkeye. But Amla survives and gets to his fifty with a chipped shot to long off.
After 27 overs, SA 128/4 - DAVID MILLER GONE: Chahal gets Miller this time and he hasn’t overstepped! It’s (we are quite sure) the exact same ball that got Miller out in Jo’burg before the no-ball call - flighted, landing outside off, slow turn, hitting leg stump - instead of the sweep, it’s an attempted heave over long on this time. Miller completely missed it.
After 26 overs, SA 122/3 - another dropped catch: Rahane hands Amla a lifeline. Pandya is distraught. It was a tough chance as Amla tried to punish a short and wide ball - came straight to him at short point at great speed. He got his hands up in time, but can’t complete the catch.
After 25 overs, SA 119/3 - need 156 of 150 balls: Amla and Miller have built a neat little partnership and will know that not losing wickets are the key if they want to make a move at the end when the spinners are done with their spells. The last 10 could well be the difference between the two sides if these two carry on - despite not scoring a boundary for a while, this is a good phase for South Africa, this is where they lost their way in previous ODIs.
After 23 overs, SA 110/3 - (NOT A) DROPPED CHANCE: Miller smashes it straight down the pitch, Chahal gets his left hand to it as a reflex but can’t hold on - it was hit with some power. Chahal looked hurt. The physio takes a look in. But the bowler’s alright after a long-ish break.
Pandya into the attack...
After 22 overs, SA 107/3: Three-figure mark for SA as Miller and Amla rebuild - Miller has already caught up with Amla by the way, who’s on 33 off 52 balls and not scoring enough against the spinners but SA wouldn’t mind that if he helps see of this spell by the spinners? Almost chops a Kuldeep Yadav wrong ‘un on to the stumps though.. interesting phase this.
After 20 overs, SA 99/3: Miller looks to be in the mood tonight. Dances down the track to Chahal and hits a wrong ‘un before it could get turn off the pitch, straight back over for a massive six. 8 from that over. Kuldeep, who’s bowling much slower through the air, gets one to turn a lot from outside Miller’s off stump, beaten in the flight and by the turn.
Remember we told you Kohli couldn’t believe the hawkeye saying the ball missed Miller’s leg stump? This was his reaction.
After 18 overs, SA 87/3 - India lose their review: This looked like a good shout - Chahal gives this a lot of revs, and flights it up, it lands just outside off and turns past Miller’s inside edge. Given not out, but Kohli reviews this. It looks like a good review initially but hawkeye says too much turn, missing leg! Kohli can’t quite believe it. Two runs from Kuldeep’s next over.
“Jor se catch aayega,” Dhoni says repeatedly from behind the stumps. “Baadme mat bolna!” He’s convinced the batsmen will hit out and give their wicket away. Hopefully, the fielders are listening intently.
DRINKS - South Africa 83/3 after 16 overs: Miller has looked to sweep Kuldeep regularly in this innings so far - almost yorks himself one ball, but digs it out and sweeps with power for a four. Got another boundary off the Previous over by walking across to Pandya and flicking him to square leg.
After 14 overs, SA 67/3 - PANDYA gets ABD AGAIN! What a big wicket this for India. For the second match running, Hardik gets to celebrate the big wicket of AB de villiers - this is on a good length outside off, ABD goes chasing with an expansive cover drive, gets an outside edge and Dhoni does the rest.
Kuldeep (and Chahal) will become all the more dangerous now - Kuldeep bowls a 2-run over on cue as Miller and Amla ease into this...
After 12 overs, SA 62/2 - Pandya strikes! Two in two overs for India. Pandya strikes in his first over. Duminy edges it to Rohit at widish first slip as Pandya comes from round the wicket, lands on a good length, and seams away - extra bounce to go with it too.
Kuldeep comes on from the other end, concedes seven runs with AB and Amla rotating well.
After 10 overs SA 52/1: There have a few leading edges and checked shots by Markram in this cameo but this was one too many. Bumrah (who has been mighty impressive with line and length, cramping the SA batsmen) gets a much-deserved wicket. Markram’s leading edge falls to Kohli at mid-off who celebrates you-know-how. Duminy comes in and gets an inside edge off Bumrah. Luckily for the South African, it lands just short of Dhoni behind the stumps.
This was imperative for India - a wicket in the powerplay was essential before the spinners come on and do their thing to a new batsman or two.
After 8 overs, SA 41/0: Makram has already started to look much more settled since that dropped catch - pulling Bhuvi over square leg (a pick-up shot more like) to square leg for six. A four off the first ball of that over means Bhuvi has conceded 25 from his first four. Three runs from Bumrah at the other end.
After 6 overs, SA 27/0: Shreyas Iyer, what are you doing? He’s so casual as Markram (who has been struggling to get going) punches one off the back-foot straight to him at cover - and Iyer drops a second sitter in two games. His drop of Miller in Jo’burg perhaps cost India the match then, he’ll be praying Markram doesn’t punish India today. Bumrah really should have had another wicket off the new ball.
After 4 overs, SA 17/0: An elegant off-drive on the up by Markram off Bhuvi to get going before a 2-run over by Bumrah from the other end. No great swing on offer for either bowler, not long before they start to shorten their lengths and start rolling their fingers.
After 2 overs, SA 9/0: Amla doing all the scoring so far, another boundary in the 2nd over. A flick of his hips as Bumrah strays in line.
Here’s the match report from Potchefstroom...
After 1 over, SA 5/0: Amla gets off the mark with a fine boundary past point after that lengthy delay due to a glitch behind bowler’s arms - the boundary was typical Hash. Just a hint of width and that arc of his elbow is in full flow as he gets it past point and third man.
08:45 pm: And South Africa’s chase begins... Amla to face Bhuvneshwar, who’ll looking get some swing going under overcast skies, as the lights start to come on... (and a lengthy delay after the first ball due to some disturbance behind the bowler’s arm)
Lunch / Dinner-time reading: An article about India’s bowling... not the cricket-kind...
Innings break: Ultimately, 274/7 is not the greatest totals given India’s start but they will be delighted with Rohit Sharma getting among the runs - his first ODI century in South Africa!
Innings break: As much as South Africa bowled well, and as bad as the lower-middle order was, you can’t lose Virat Kohli AND Ajinkya Rahane for silly runouts and still expect to post a big total. And how long can India expect Dhoni to deliver lower down the order? Much to ponder for this Indian batting lineup, but a good chase coming up potentially , on a pitch that did have assistance for Shamsi.
Some reaction from social media.... join us shortly for the second innings.
End of India’s innings - India 274/7 after 50 overs: Just 55 runs in the final 10 overs and India have come unstuck again, for the second match running, in the death overs. Great final over from Rabada, just 5 runs off it.
India 269/7 after 49 overs - Ngidi gets Dhoni! After getting an edge to third man for four, Dhoni looks for a big one - Ngidi digs it in short and it’s a cutter as well, Dhoni skies it while attempting to muscle it over the circle, and Markram pulls off a fine diving catch at mid-off. Ngidi has his fourth and finishes a fine spell.
India 261/6 after 48 overs: Decent over for India thanks to Bhuvi smashing Rabada straight down the ground for four. Seven from it.
After 47 overs, India 251/6: Not for the first time in the last few months, Dhoni and Bhuvi are left picking up the pieces after a middle order collapse. At one stage India looked set for 300, will need a miracle to get there now. Remember though, this is already than the average first innings score at St. Georges in a D/N game - so not too bad overall. Bhuvi gets a timely boundary off Ngidi through third man to take India past 250.
After 45 overs, India 240/6 - middle order disaster again for India: Just 21 runs in the last 5 overs for the loss of 3 wickets has put India in the backfoot in Port Elizabeth.
India 238/6 after 44.2 overs - Ngidi strikes again: *This* is what South Africa wanted after winning the toss. Turning into a great spell for Ngidi as he bangs it in short outside offstump again and the extra bounce is too much for Shreyas Iyer who edges it to Klaasen.
Dhoni on 0 off 7, Bhuvi walking out and this is turning into a bit of a disaster for India...
INDIA 236/4 after 42.3 overs - Ngidi on a hat-trick! Pandya gone first ball... Ngidi bowls it full and the ball even keeps a touch low, and Pandya can only bottom-edge it to the keeper while attempting a cover drive on the move.
Dhoni fends off the hat-trick ball... all happening in Port Elizabeth!
After 42.2 overs, India 236/4 - Rohit Sharma gone: Well, no double hundred this time despite running out Virat Kohli... Ngidi gets good pace late on, bangs it in a good length on the fourth channel - Rohit takes a waft at it and edges it to Klaasen.
After 42 overs, India 236/3: Shamsi finishes a good spell with six singles. Ngidi concedes 11 in the 41st over as Iyer smashes a cut past deep cover - he’s settled in nicely.
10 overs, 48 runs and no wicket but a useful spell by Shamsi (And an encouraging one from India’s PoV)
IND 219/3 after 40 overs (Rohit 110*, Shreyas 18*): Shreyas has come in and found his bearing very early on. Rohit has begun looking for a big shot in nearly every over. 10 overs to go...How much can India score from here?
Meanwhile a famous for the Indian women in Potchefstroom - a record chase in T20Is!
After 39 overs, India 215/3: Shamsi has got a few balls to turn and bounce and that will be something Kuldeep and Chahal will be delighted with. Rohit looking to push on here, lofting Phehlukwayo over midoff for a four. Iyer going steady.
A few more stats coming your way...
After 36 overs, Rohit Sharma 202/3 - CENTURY FOR HITMAN! There it is. It’s been a very, very eventful innings. Some eye-catching sixes to start, a couple of run outs, a dropped catch on 96 and now his 17th ODI century!
And here’s something that will delight the Indian cricket fan...
After 34 overs, India 193/3 - ROHIT SURVIVES; On 96, Rohit Sharma plays a loose upper cut over the keeper. Rabada wanted him to play that shot, that’s why Shamsi was placed fine at third man but the plan would habve worked better if they had a better fielder there. Shamsi puts down an absolute sitter!
As far as quality of cricket goes, the past few minutes have not been the greatest, but boy - what entertainment.
After 33 overs, India 184/3 - DRINKS: Boy, India desperately need to collect their breaths here and stop throwing wickets away. A loud appeal for caught behind for Rohit as we head into the break, and South Africa review this one. IT’s off the thigh pad and no bat or glove involved - SA lose their review. Iyer and Rohit (on 92*) batting together now - another Mumbai pair. Rabada will sense a wicket here.
After 32 overs, India 180/3 - ANOTHER RUN OUT! Goodness gracious. This is pretty incredible. Rahane taps it to Morkel at mid-on and takes off like the Energizer bunny who drank a Red Bull - Sharma wanted nothing to do with though and sends Rahane back and he can’t make it back on time - not even close to be fair to Sharma. And this is a massive meltdown of sorts from India’s point of view.
After 29 overs, India 164/2: Rohit is into the 80s and India will need a nice little partnership between him and his fellow Mumbaikar Ajinkya Rahane.
Meanwhile, plenty of chatter about Kohli’s runout...
After 26 overs, India 155/2: OH DEAR, OH DEAR - ANOTHER RUN-OUT! Yet again, these two class batsmen find a disappointing way to get the other out. Rohit taps it to Duminy to point, Kohli has almost finished the run and then turns back but is caught well short by a under-arm direct hit..
After 25 overs, India 148/1 - century partnership between Rohit and Virat: And it comes up with a massive six over midwicket off Shamsi - when he hits, they stay hit! That’s his fourth six of the innings as he moves on to 75. He is looking to up the ante a bit - a sweep for four off Duminy in the previous over.
06:10 pm: Meanwhile in Potchefstroom, Indian women have a tough chase in the first T20I... follow our live blog here.
After 23 overs, India 133/1 - Kohli survives a very close call: You wouldn’t have blamed the 3rd umpire for either decision there - Virat Kohli just about gets the benefit of doubt in the 23rd over of Shamsi for a stumping decision. Ultimately, the age-old benefit of doubt matters. Rohit celebrates getting to his fifty with a six off Duminy - a much-needed one as the runs were for drying up for India - as he pulls a short ball over square leg for his 3rd maximum.
After 20 overs, India 114/1 - Fifty for Rohit Sharma! Spin from both ends after the drinks break. Duminy and Shamsi bowling in tandem. Rohit gets his first real milestone on this tour off the 19th over, off Shami’s first ball. Just 3 runs from the 19th and 20th combined as Duminy bounces back after a loose first over where he conceded 12 runs with Rohit cutting well.
Drinks - India 99/1 after 17 overs : As we take the first break, this is unlikely to be what Markram had in his mind when he won the toss. Dhawan’s wicket apart, it’s been India’s afternoon so far - Rohit with a powerful cut for four in that Ngidi over before the break.
After 16 overs, India 94/1 - Rohit 34 (39), Virat 20 (34): The boundaries have dried up expectedly but India still maintaining a healthy run-rate. Rohit pulls Ngidi well - bisecting the two deep fielders when Ngidi drops one shot. Kohli, as he does early in his innings, is doing the bulk of the scoring by running between the wicketrs.
After 14 overs, India 84/1: A couple of quite overs but India still maintaining a rate of 6 per over - good rotation of strike of both Kohli and Rohit. Nice risk-free cricket on show...
(And as we type that Rohit takes for a suicidal single! Kohli sends him back and the two have a laugh - these two and running between the wickets, we tell you...)
After 12 overs, India 77/1: Ngidi is welcomed into the attack by a majestic Rohit Sharma pull shot! It’s a rank short ball but still had to be put away and Rohit pulls for a fabulous six over deep square leg! Kohli then starts the next over off with a signature cover drive for four off Phehlukwayo and as he always does, quickly gets off strike. That Phehlukwayo over is the first indication that a high score is inlikely today despite the start India have had - the ball sticking on the wicket, with Kohli almost chopping one on.
Rohit is now unbeaten on 25, his highest score in the series so far.
After 10 overs, India 61/1 - good powerplay for India: A bit streaky, but still a good start for India. SA did well to send Dhawan back but Rohit has shown spark today - as evidenced by a confident cut past point four off Morkel. Kohli will want him to stick around form a sound stand from here on.
ESPNCricinfo reporting this is India’s fourth highest poewerplay score since CWC 2015 - India are known to score around 45-50 usually, to ease into the game.
After 8 overs, India 52/1 - Dhawan gone! Rabada’s trap works as he sends Dhawan back. First ball of the over he bowls it short outside off and Dhawan had almost guided it to the short third man (got four instead) but the next ball, there is not ‘almost’ - he pulls a short ball past to deep square leg. A leg-bye off Kohli’s pads to four, takes India past 50.
After 7 overs, India 43/0: 26 runs in the last 2 overs! Three bounadries off the bat of Dhawan as he is off to a blistering start - Morkel at the receiving end this time. A straight drive, followed by a gloved-pull to fine leg just over the keeper, followed by a kitchen-sink-cut over point.
After 6 overs, India 30/0: Rohit 1, Rabada 0 then? The Mumbaikar sees a good length ball, dances down the track and hoicks Rabada over the long on fence for the first six of the day! That was into the parking lot, past the stands. Brilliant hit! Next ball, Rabada brings one back in and it hits Rohit flush on the abdominal guard - OUCH! Rohit takes it out and checks for a crack. Dhawan hit one uppishly down the ground off the first ball of that over to make it 13 in that over - India are getting a move on.
After 5 overs, India 17/0: Morkel was one ball away from bowling a hat-trick of maiden overs and Rohit Sharma moves from 1 after a while by square driving him past point for four. Another great over from Morkel though, testing Rohit in the fourth stump channel.
After 4 overs, India 13/0: Runs coming from just one end so far and interestingly it’s from the in-form bowlers’ end. Rabada concedes a couple more boundaries in the second over to Dhawan - first a majestic pull shot off his ribs and then a streaky cut over the slip cordon. The best shot he played in that over is staright to the (very) wide mid-off fielder. Morkel bowled another maiden, this time to Rohit, who is still coming to terms with this pitch.
After 2 overs, India 5/0: Shaky start by Rohit as Rabada comes steaming in - half LBW appeal early on as he is cut in half by one that nips back in off the surface (missing stumps) followed by an inside edge to fine leg to get off the mark. Didn’t have much say over the proceedings there, did Rohit. Dhawan though, shows how good a form he is in - playing a wonderful cover drive for the first boundary today.
After 1 over, India 0/0: Interestingly Rohit Sharma is not on strike for the first time this series. Dhawan takes guard against Morne Morkel and plays out a maiden over. Not much bounce on over even for the tall Morkel as a couple of deliveries died on their way to the keeper. A few plays and misses, a couple of drives hit to the fielder and it’s a run-less start from Morkel...
Meanwhile, it’s Rabada to Rohit at the other end....
04:25 pm: BIG NEWS from the women’s game! Young Jemimah makes her debut... follow that game live in the link below.
If history is any indicator, this is unlikely to be a high scoring match - the average score in the last five day-night matches at the venue is just above 240. And India have never won at PE either - played 5, lost 5. But they had never won 3 ODIs on the trot in SA before as well - something that’s already changed this series.
Pitch: Neil Mackenzie and Mike Haysman with the pitch report, key points here...
Tends to skid on under the new lights, but can zip around as well but that’s when there is a grass over. There won’t be too much turn under lights. There’s always some turn at St. George’s though. Stats are in favour of team batting first but the teams have done their research with the breeze and new lights installed.
India unchanged yet again, but South Africa forced into making a change with Chris Morris having a stiff back, Shamsi comes in.
04:05 pm: Aiden Markram wins the toss and India will have to bat first under overcast skies, with a strong breeze blowing across the ground - Kohli said he would have bowled first as well, with a little bit of rain predicted for later but doesn’t see the pitch changing too much. Says this will be similar to the Durban, where the match ended overwhelmingly in India’s favour.
MS Dhoni nearing a milestone
03:55 pm: The former India captain is just over a 40 runs short of scoring 10k in the ODIs, but the fielding coach R. Sridhar chose to talk about his remarkable wicket-keeping skills ahead of the Port Elizabeth game, it’s well worth a read.
The Rohit Sharma Question
03:50 pm: For India, most things have fallen in place pretty nicely in the ODI series - despite the loss in the Pink ODI, no thanks to Messers Duckworth and Lewis coming into play. But there is one big concern - Rohit Sharma and his form in South Africa.
Here’s Kushal Phatarpekar on whether Rohit is a flat-track bully in ODIs... what is your say? Do send in your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
03:45 pm: Hello all and welcome to the live blog of the fifth and penultimate ODI in this six-match series between Indian and South Africa. The venue is the beautiful St. Georges Park in Port Elizabeth. South Africa will be back in their green but the questions is: what will be the colour of the pitch?