Kohli’s charges make ODI history against Proteas at St George’s
Virat Kohli’s Indian team claimed a historic away series win when they beat South Africa by 73 runs in the fifth One Day International at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth yesterday.
Set 275 for victory, South Africa looked on course to keep the series alive at various times in their chase.
But the Proteas eventually succumbed to the pressure exerted by Kohli’s disciplined outfit to be bowled out for 201 in the 43rd over.
As a result, Kohli became the first Indian captain to beat South Africa at home in this format of the game – and the visitors have an unassailable 4-1 lead with one match left to play.
Kohli’s charges now head to Centurion for the final match on Friday, looking to inflict more pain on the beleaguered Proteas.
Hashim Amla scored a trademark 71 at the top of the order and opening partner – and captain – Aiden Markram looked good for his run-a-ball 32.
David Miller also threatened with 36, until he ran past one from wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and was bowled.
Even when Miller had removed himself from the scene, there was still hope with Amla and Heinrich Klaasen at the crease – and with the total on 127 for four in the 27th over.
Amla, however, was run out by a direct hit from Hardik Pandya and Andile Phehlukwayo (0) was bowled by the other wrist-spinner, Kuldeep Yadav, to leave Klaasen running out of partners.
Klaasen, who continues to look the part at international level, was good value for his 39 for South Africa.
Spinner Yadav was the best of the Indian bowlers, with four for 57.
Earlier, fast bowler Lungi Ngidi took a career-best four for 51.
Rohit Sharma finally got going for India, scoring a superb 115, as the tourists posted 274 for seven.
South Africa came into the game looking to strike early, but the first wicket only came in the eighth over, when Kagiso Rabada dismissed one of the dangermen, Shikhar Dhawan, with the total on 48.
After that, India looked well set to go way past the 300-mark – with Rohit impressive, after only managing 40 runs in his previous four innings in the series.
He favoured the cut shot in particular, but also scored in other areas in his 126-ball innings.
Rohit struck 11 fours and four sixes, but was eventually halted, caught by wicketkeeper Klaasen off the bowling of Ngidi, who had extracted some extra bounce.
Rohit also shared in an entertaining 105-run stand for the second wicket with skipper Kohli.
But while Rohit, who was dropped by Tabraiz Shamsi on 96, was magnificent with the blade, his calling between the wickets was diabolical as he ran out both in-form man Kohli (32) and Ajinke Rahane (8).
Both his partners had come more than halfway down the track only to be shown the face palm by Rohit at the non-strikers’ end.
It did have a negative influence on how the Indian innings progressed, because the momentum they had maintained in reaching 176 for two in 32 overs slowly subsided as wickets fell.
Ngidi ran in hard and was rewarded for his efforts with three middle-order wickets, as he beat his previous ODI best of two for 52, attained in Johannesburg on Saturday.
At the top of the innings, South Africa had opted to bowl first and Dhawan came out with aggressive intent, swinging hard at Rabada in particular.
Dhawan cracked eight fours in his 34 runs, but was eventually undone by the Proteas fast bowler in the eighth over.