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SA spoil Dhawan ton in Pink ODI

12 February 2018

It is fair to say that the Proteas were unlucky in the field as edges didn't go to hand and a ball trickled next to the stumps but credit should be given to the excellent batting of Dhawan and Kohli.

But, Chris Morris provided the vital breakthrough as Kohli was caught by David Miller at cover for 75, which came off 83 balls and included seven boundaries and a six. Phehlukwayo hit 23 off just five balls, swinging at everything with luster to hurry South Africa to victory.

The Proteas, wearing pink outfits in support of breast cancer awareness, seemed hapless as India's left-hand-right-hand combination found the boundaries easily.

India's campaign at the last two ICC events ended on a disappointing note and both defeats had a common link.

India was flying and on course for a score well over 300 when Dhawan and Kohli put together a 158-run stand for the second wicket off just 163 balls.

In the process of this much needed victory, the Proteas also took their tally of wins in this hugely popular Pink ODI event to six following wins over Pakistan, India on two occasions, West Indies, England and Sri Lanka. South Africa included a fit-again AB de Villiers in the playing eleven while Morne Morkel replaced Imran Tahir.

"It (century) could not have been better considering it was my 100th ODI match". The injury kept him out for the first three ODIs, where the Proteas certainly missed his services. The two openers faced 207 balls between them for not as many runs. It is not for the first time that India have unleashed two spinners against the opposition in the ODIs but it surely is the first time since, perhaps, 1985 World Championship of Cricket in Australia, that two spinners dominated the middle overs so strongly. So when Yuzvendra Chahal castled Miller in his first over itself, it looked like the spinners would run away with the game once again. Kohli noted how conditions had worked against his team as India scored just 89 in 16.3 overs after the first interruption. The Times of India has reported that India has now taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the six-match series.

South Africa's pacemen adopted a successful strategy of aggressive short bowling and, although Dhoni managed a run-a-ball 42 not out, India were never able to get on top of the bowling.

But South Africa were still busy making a mess of their run-chase despite all these serendipitous circumstances as they slipped to 102 for four in the 17 over.

Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav was the most successful among the Indian bowlers with figures of 2/51 while fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, Pandya and Chahal got a wicket each.

In what could be called a major respite for the home side, AB de Villiers has been added to the squad for the next three ODIs.

After a few sedate overs, JP Duminy was contentiously adjudged leg-before off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav. AB's innings (26 off 18 balls) may not have lasted long but he showed his team-mates that once you start going after the spinners, the mind can do unusual things.

"I enjoyed it. It can not get any better". We don't know when the thunderstorms are going to hit.

SA spoil Dhawan ton in Pink ODI