Febrero 24, 2018

J'burg ODI: India set 290-run target for Proteas

11 Febrero 2018, 06:49 | Gerardo Tarin

Pandya needs to raise his game this season

Kohli will be hoping Pandya can fill Yuvraj Singh's boots

India meets South Africa in the 4th One Day International Cricket match at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg.

Miller returned to the crease after his reprieve to construct a match-winning partnership of 72 off 43 balls with Klaasen.

Miller made him and India pay a heavy price by hammering the bowlers out of the park. Victory was achieved in just 25.3 overs. It was hit out or get out and with nearly nothing to lose, Klaasen and Miller indulged in batting that was very near maniacal. Also, spinner chahal and Kuldeep performed well in all three games, and probability of team management considering them key players for 2019 World Cup seems high.

It certainly is tough to visualise how South Africa are going to turn around their fortunes in the course of two days.

But, Chris Morris provided the vital breakthrough as Kohli was caught by David Miller at cover for 75, which came off 83 balls and included seven boundaries and a six.

Klaasen stayed till the end, treating India's feared bowling attack with utter disdain till the last. The unbroken sixth-wicket stand added 33 in 11 balls leaving an already stunned India shell-shocked. He hit three fours and a six in his 43-ball knock.

In doing so, Kohli became the second batsman after de Villiers to score 350-plus runs in an ODI bilateral series on South African soil. Yadav struck again, this time getting rid of Amla. I just want to play, doesn't matter where I bat.

India have troubled South Africa with both pace and spin, whether it was Jhulan Goswami in the series-opener or leggie Poonam Yadav in the second ODI. He smashed two more sixes in the following over of Chahal to polish off the chase as many were left wondering why Virat Kohli didn't bring on his seamers earlier.

Earlier during the Indian innings, Kagiso Rabada got the breakthrough in the fourth over when he caught and bowled Rohit Sharma on five runs.

Dhawan and Kohli then stabilised the innings as they took India to 178/1 in 31 overs, from 20/1 in 4 overs. However, South Africa bowled brilliantly and put a lid on the Indian batsmen in the death overs. Not unless the pitch plays exactly like it did in the 3rd Test where both teams chose to go with all-out pace attacks. Duminy did his job splendidly.

Though Indian middle order batsman Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed cheaply, MS Dhoni played the finishing role yet again.

Defending 202 in 28 overs after a thunderstorm-induced interruption, the Indians appeared to be in control as they reduced South Africa, who had resumed their chase from 43/1 in 7.2 overs, to 102/4 in 16.5 overs.

Many have faulted the inexperience of South Africa's youthful middle-order for the collapses, which is why De Villiers' return can not come soon enough for the Proteas.

That was until Miller and Klaasen made a decision to show them otherwise.

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