Rohit, Spinners Star As India Seal Historic Series Win in South Africa
It was an all too familiar script for South Africa as Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal again spun a web after Rohit Sharma’s sensational ton as India defeated South Africa by 73 runs in the 5th ODI in Port Elizabeth and sealed the 6-match series with one game to go.Chasing 277 to win, South Africa had started off well with Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla putting up 52-runs for the first wicket. Jasprit Bumrah then struck for India, removing captain Markram.
Then, Hardik Pandya struck a double blow, removing JP Duminy and AB de Villiers quickly. Then, David Miller continued his fine form and gave good support to Hashim Amla as two put together 62-runs for the fifth wicket.
Amla showed good form for the first time, as both the players used their feet against the spinners and tackled the threat with some fine aggression.
However, Chahal outsmarted Miller as he bowled slower through the air and Miller missed a looping delivery to see his stumps shattered.
Hero of Johannesburg, Heinrich Klaasen joined Amla and the two again looked good together before Amla was run out trying to steal a quick single against Hardik Pandya.
Amla’s departure left Klaasen fighting a lone battle as Indian spinners ensured that none of the South African batters settled.
Chahal (2/43) and Kuldeep (4/57) shared sic wickets between them as India completely outplayed the hosts.
Earlier, after being put into bat, Rohit Sharma roared back to form with a fine ton but late South African fight back led by Lungi Ngidi meant India were restricted to 276/7 in their allotted 50 overs, when at one stage they looked set for a score above 320.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit got India off to a fine start, as they moved up the gears rather quickly after a slow beginning. Dhawan was the first to depart for a well made 34.
In-form Virat Kohli joined Rohit in the middle and the two put together 105 for the second wicket. But the two had been involved in 6 runs outs before this, and again poor running between the wickets accounted for Kohli’s dismissal as he made his way back to the pavilion for 36.
Rahane too was run out for 8, again due to Rohit’s mistake. But the opener made up for it with some fine stroke play and with Shreyas Iyer giving good support at the other end, India looked set for a huge total. He was dropped on 96 by Shamsi, and eventually went onto complete his 17th ton.
India were 236/3 in the 43rd over, when Ngidi struck a double blow – getting both Rohit and Pandya in successive deliveries. Then, he dismissed Shreyas Iyer in his next over. With the pitch getting slower and slower, big shots became difficult to come by for India.
Ngidi was aided by some tight bowling from Morkel (0/44), Shamsi (0/48) and Phehlukwayo (0/34) as India crawled their way to 276.
First Published: February 14, 2018, 12:24 AM IST