Johannesbureg - The Proteas took full advantage of two weather
interruptions to beat India by 5 wickets on the DLS method at the Wanderers Stadium on Saturday to keep alive their hopes of sharing the Momentum
India now lead the series 3-1 with the remaining matches to
be played at St.George’s Park on Tuesday and at SuperSport Park on Friday.
In the process the packed Wanderers crowd saluted two new
heroes in Heinrich Klaasen and Andile Phehlukwayo who have played a combined
total of just 25 ODIs.
The pair secured the victory after the Proteas were set
a revised target of 202 in 28.4 overs with Klaasen making an unbeaten 43 off 27
balls (5 fours and a six) and Phehlukwayo an almost unbelievable 23 off 5 balls
(a four, 3 sixes and a single).
Their partnership realized 33 runs off a mere 11 legal
It followed a partnership of 72 in one ball short of 7 overs
for the fifth wicket between Klaasen and David Miller (39 off 28 balls, 4 fours
and 2 sixes).
In the process they put the feared Indian spinners to the sword
as the two went for 119 runs in 11.3 overs although they took three wickets
between them and it turned what looked like being a very tight finish into a
relatively comfortably victory that was achieved with 15 balls to spare.
The onslaught was started and probably inspired by AB de
Villiers when he hit two sixes in an over.
The Proteas got two good breaks from the weather
interruptions. The first came when India, having won the toss, were in complete
control, reaching 200/2 in 34.2 overs.
The Proteas got two wickets immediately the game resumed
including the key one of Shikhar Dhawan who celebrated his 100th ODI
with his 13th ODI century (109 off 105 balls, 10 fours and 2 sixes).
The Proteas then produced one of the best bowling
performances in the final power play between the 40th and 50th
overs that saw just 59 runs conceded.
As a result the initial target was 290 rather than the 300
and plenty that had looked likely.
The second break came when the Proteas had reached 43 for
the loss of Aiden Markram’s wicket in 7.2 overs.
The revised target meant that the Proteas needed a further
159 off 20.4 overs which required a switch to T20 mode and a required run rate
of 8 to the over for a short period of time rather than almost 6 to the over
for a full 50 overs.
The key thing for the Proteas was that they managed to put
pressure on India for the first time in the series rather than having to soak
up all the pressure themselves and that led to inevitable mistakes, none being
the more important than the reprieve Miller earned when Yuzvendra Chahal bowled
him with a no ball.
The Wanderers crowd certainly got their money’s worth as did
the Pink Day which raised a record sum of R1 640 652, virtually
double what had been raised the previous year.