New Delhi: India skipper Virat Kohli is on a roll these days and with opener Shikhar Dhawan also striking form, the two have been adding to the misery of the Proteas bowlers. And even on Saturday during the ‘Pink ODI’ at the Wanderers Stadium, the two stitched together a 158-run partnership for the second wicket which has now equaled them with Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid for the maximum 100-run stands for the second wicket. Saturday was the eighth instance when Dhawan and Kohli were involved in a 100-run stand for the second wicket.
But the partnership wasn’t enough to take India home in the game as South Africa continued to remain unbeaten in ‘Pink ODIs’ as newcomer Heinrich Klaasen starred with the bat to help his side beat India by 5 wickets in a rain curtailed tie in Johannesburg.
The win also meant that South Africa stayed alive in the six-match series. Riding on century from Shikhar Dhawan and yet another half-century from Virat Kohli, India posted a decent total of 289/7 in their designated 50 overs.
Then, 7 overs into chase, bad weather forced the players off and reduced South Africa’s target to 202 from 28 overs. Amla and Duminy resumed proceedings, but Kuldeep removed both of them in quick succession and it seemed spinners would continue to haunt the Proteas.
De Villiers decided to attack the spinners, and took 16 runs from Chahal’s first over as South Africa started going for their shots. When Pandya removed de Villiers for a quickfire 26, it looked as if India might come back into the game.
But then, Klaasen and Miller put together 72-runs to take the game away from the visitors. Some luck and unorthodox aggressive batting was the key for South Africa as they hit the spinners for total of 119 runs in 11.3 overs. Chahal had dismissed Miller on 6 but replays showed that the leg-spinner had overstepped. Miller made full use of the second chance as he ended up 39 off 28 balls.
Some pre-meditated hitting from Klaasen was the key as he remained unbeaten on 43, guiding his team home. Phehlukwayo also smashed 23 off 5 balls as South Africa reached the target with 5 wickets to spare.