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