Ro­hit and Kuldeep star as In­dia script his­tory with maiden ODI se­ries win in South Africa

Mail Today - - NEWS - By Ajay Naidu in Port El­iz­a­beth

The opener re­turns to form with a cen­tury while wrist spinner Ya­dav scalps four wick­ets

ONE sunny day doesn’t make a sum­mer! Vi­rat Kohli’s high-fly­ing team seemed to drive home that mes­sage to the op­po­si­tion as they made his­tory by be­com­ing the first In­dian team to win a one-day se­ries in South Africa.

And their 73-run vic­tory —which gave them an un­beat­able 4-1 lead in the six-match se­ries — will also help them de­throne South Africa to be the new No 1 ODI team in the world in the ICC rank­ings.

In­dia’s spec­tac­u­lar win was built around Ro­hit Sharma’s 17th one-day cen­tury and some in­spired bowl­ing by the spin­ners and, of course, Hardik Pandya who re­deemed him­self with the prized wicket of AB de Vil­liers and JP Du­miny and that bril­liant run out of Hashim Amla.

The game also saw the two In­dian wrist spin­ners Yuzven­dra Cha­hal (2/43)and Kuldeep Ya­dav (4/57) ex­tract sweet re­venge against the men who rubbed them the wrong way at the Wan­der­ers.

If Cha­hal won the bat­tle in the mind dis­miss­ing David Miller af­ter the bats­man gave him the charge, Ya­dav made light work of Aiden Phehluk­wayo clean­ing him up for a duck.

Hashim Amla lived a charmed life be­ing let off by Shreyas Iyer, who started late on the fence, and Ajinkya Ra­hane who failed to hold on to a catch at point. As if that wasn’t enough he sur­vived a strong leg be­fore appeal against Pandya. The re­plays showed the ball hit­ting the mid­dle and leg stumps.

Of course, for a while Hein­rich Klaasen threat­ened to re­write the script strik­ing Ya­dav for two sixes and tak­ing 16 runs in an over. How­ever, Ya­dav was not to be de­nied his re­venge. A smart stump­ing by Ma­hen­dra Singh Dhoni was a mo­ment of joy for the Men in Blue. And Ya­dav made the 42nd over more mem­o­rable by claim­ing three wick­ets with a space of four balls. The other ca­su­al­ties be­ing Rabada and Shamshi.

Ear­lier, Ro­hit Sharma ar­rived fash­ion­ably late to the party. But once he made an ap­pear­ance he did the star turn keep­ing the au­di­ence en­ter­tained with eleven fours and four tow­er­ing sixes. The only jar­ring note in his in­nings was his in­volve­ment in the run outs of Vi­rat Kohli and Ajinkya Ra­hane.

There was a dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent ap­proach Ro­hit had to adopt fol­low­ing those set­backs af­ter both he and Shikhar Dhawan gave an elec­tric start to the in­nings light­ing up the murky af­ter­noon with their spec­tac­u­lar stroke­play. Dhawan was in a flam­buoy­ant smash­ing eight bound­aries be­fore get­ting the march­ing or­ders go­ing for an­other big shot.

Ro­hit Sharma matched Dhawan’s mood with some of his own bril­liance danc­ing the down the pitch to de­posit a men­ac­ing Kasigo Rabada into the stands be­hind the bowler. The Mum­bai bats­man con­tin­ued to flower in the com­pany of his cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli be­fore a mis­un­der­stand­ing cut the lat­ter’s in­nings short.

Ro­hit also ex­pe­ri­enced some em­bar­rass­ment watch­ing an easy skier be­ing put down on the third man fence on he was on 96. Thus Ro­hit’s in­nings (115, 11x4,4x6) was more a way of mak­ing up for those two com­mu­ni­ca­tion blun­ders than a cel­e­bra­tion of him play­ing a sub­stan­tial knock. Per­haps Ro­hit was even de­ter­mined to help him­self, and his team, with cush­ion of more runs by turn­ing on the heat in the death.


Men in Blue script first bi­lat­eral ODI se­ries win in South Africa with an unas­sail­able 4-1 lead on Tues­day.

Is the In­dia's high­est score at this venue. Their pre­vi­ous best was 179 for 9 in 50 overs vs South Africa on Feb 2, 1997. Num­ber of cen­turies scored by Ro­hit Sharma (115) in 179 matches. It was his 2nd hun­dred vs South Africa in 23 matches. Is the best bowl­ing fig­ures of Lungi Ngidi in his third one dayer. His pre­vi­ous best was 2 for 52 in Jo­han­nes­burg on Feb 10, 2018.

In­dia opener Ro­hit Sharma in ac­tion on Tues­day. (Right) Kuldeep Ya­dav cel­e­brates a South African wicket with team­mates in Port El­iz­a­beth.

Yuzven­dra Cha­hal bowls on Tues­day.

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