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Shikhar Dhawan’s ton goes in vain as South Africa beat India in rain-hit 4th ODI

Shikhar Dhawan’s century went in vain as South Africa defeated India by five wickets in a rain-curtailed affair in the fourth ODI in Johannesburg on Saturday

cricket Updated: Feb 11, 2018 01:53 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, Johannesburg
India vs South Africa,India national cricket team,South Africa national cricket team
South Africa's batsman Heinrich Klaasen, right, plays a shot as India's wicketkeeper MS Dhoni, watches during the fourth One-Day International cricket match between South Africa and India at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.(AP)

For the first time in the series, South African fans out-screamed the Indians, creating such a noise after every wicket and boundary that it would drown anything Virat Kohli & Co’s fans had to offer in the fourth ODI, called the Pink Day ODI. (INDIA vs SOUTH AFRICA, 4th ODI HIGHLIGHTS)

Held at the Wanderers to empathise with breast cancer patients, it is a game the hosts, who played dressed in pink, have never lost. (INDIA vs SOUTH AFRICA, 4th ODI SCORECARD)

Driven by their fans’ support, the Proteas kept their record intact beating India, more importantly their spinners, to give themselves a breather in the series. The hosts won the fourth ODI by five wickets in a game curtailed by rain. They needed 202 to win in 28 overs which they did with 2.3 overs to spare.

India lead the series 3-1 with two more games to go, in Port Elizabeth and Centurion next week.

Both Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who have weaved a web around the South Africans getting them out for paltry totals in earlier games, were pulverised. Kuldeep went for 51 in six overs while Chahal went for 68 in 5.3 overs.

While most of the fans’ roars were reserved for AB de Villiers, making a comeback from injury, the unlikely hero turned out to be Heinrich Klaasen who played in an unorthodox manner, inventing shots to make 43 off 27 balls. Together with David Miller (39 off 28 balls), he put on 72 in 6.5 overs for the fifth wicket.

Klaasen used the reverse sweep to good effect and when Chahal bowled wide outside off, hoping he’d come down the track, the SA wicketkeeper-batsman went wide and pulled it out of the sixth stump to hit a boundary through square leg. Confused, the Indian spinners just didn’t know what to do. Miller had earlier got a reprieve and that is probably what saved the day for the hosts. He was out caught in the deep with Proteas still needing 96 off 62 balls. However, the replays showed it was a no ball from Chahal.

Miller wasn’t the one to look back after that as he took three boundaries off Hardik Pandya, who had got De Villiers out caught for 26. The confidence spilled over against spinners as Miller and Klaasen went for broke, hammering the two Indian tweakers. By the time Miller was dismissed, the Proteas needed 28 off 26 balls and Andile Phehlukwayo (23 off 11 balls) did the rest.

Earlier, India made 289 in their allotted 50 overs with Shikhar Dhawan (109 off 105 balls) scoring his 13th hundred and Virat Kohli making 75 (83 balls). The two continued from where they left in the third ODI at Cape Town, stringing together a 158-run partnership to ensure a solid start even after the visitors had lost Rohit Sharma early.

While Dhawan had thrown his wicket away just when he looked good for a century at Cape Town, this time he ensured that he didn’t make any such mistake as he moved to his third against South Africa. He survived plenty of inside edges that somehow missed the stumps and went to the fine leg fence.

The Wanderers wicket had bounce, something the hosts wanted but both Kohli and Dhawan remained untroubled as they manoeuvred the Proteas bowling with ease. They collected singles and got boundaries whenever the bowlers erred in line even one bit.

But once the two were dismissed, the Indian middle order fell apart. Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya, caught off a blinder by Aiden Markram at cover, failed to get going as India, who looked like getting 350, couldn’t even get to 300. It was only Dhoni (42* off 43 balls), who hung around to take the team to its eventual score.

First Published: Feb 10, 2018 17:03 IST