5th ODI: Rohit Sharma, bowlers guide India to maiden series win in South Africa

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5th ODI: Rohit Sharma, bowlers guide India to maiden series win in South Africa

Port Elizabeth, Feb 13: Centurion Rohit Sharma, spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal shined to help India register a comprehensive 73-run win over South Africa in the fifth ODI here on Tuesday (February 13).

With this 4-1 lead in the six-match series, Men In Blue created history and claimed their first bilateral series win against Proteas in South Africa. This is India's win at St. George's Park after playing six ODIs on this venue.

Match Scorecard; Series Schedule

Setting a tricky target of 275 for the hosts to chase on a wicket that kept getting slower as the day progressed, Indian bowlers performed exceptionally well and restricted the Proteas to 201 in 42.2 overs.

Kuldeep Yadav (4/57), Yuzvendra Chahal (2/43) and Hardik Pandya (2/30) did the bulk of the damage for the visitors and never let the game slip away from their hands. After being hammered for runs in the previous ODI, the spin-twins came back strongly and picked up 6 wickets in this game.

Jasprit Bumrah (1/22) gave the visitors their first breakthrough by getting rid of Protea skipper Aiden Markram for (32) before Pandya picked up two major wickets of JP Duminy (1) and AB de Villiers (6) and brought the visitors in the game.

India Vs South Africa, 5th ODI: Rohit brings up his 17th ton after Kohli-Rahane run outs

Hashim Amla (71), however, played a brilliant knock as he stitched a 62-run stand with David Miller (36). Chahal showed his class again and came back strongly to castle Miller's wicket and broke the partnership that was troubling the visitors. The second wicket Chahal got was that of Morne Morkel and trapped him in front.

Kuldeep, on the other hand, looked in control and rattled the South African lower-middle order. The chinaman grabbed the wickets of Heinrich Klaasen (39), Andile Phehlukwayo (0), Kagiso Rabada (3) and Tabraiz Shamsi (0) to ensure the hosts fold up cheaply.

The wrist-spinner from Uttar Pradesh grabbed three wickets in a single over and rattled the Protea middle order as he removed Rabada, Klaasen and Shamsi in a gap of 4 deliveries.

Earlier in the day, South African bowlers once again came back strongly in the second-half of the innings and restricted India to 274/7.

India vice-captain Rohit returned to his form after four successive poor starts and slammed his 17th ODI century. The right-handed batsman played a patient knock of 126-ball 115 and proved form is temporary and class is permanent.

The highlight of the Indian innings was Rohit's century -- which is his 15th as an opener. He is now third behind Sachin Tendulkar (45 out of 49) and Sourav Ganguly (19 out of 22) in the number of centuries as an opener. He has slammed 7 ODI tons in the last 12 months, equal to his skipper Kohli - who has also smashed the same number of tons in that period.

With this win, India have displaced South Africa from the top of ICC ODI rankings.

However, India once again failed to convert a good start into a big total as they faltered in the death overs. At one stage the visitors looked headed towards a score past 300 but some disciplined bowling and from the hosts ensured the visitors couldn't reach a good total.

Young pacer Lungi Ngidi (4/51) emerged as the pick of the bowlers for the Proteas and ensured the visitors were stopped to a below-par total. He got the wickets of Rohit Sharma (115), Shreyas Iyer (30), Hardik Pandya (0) and MS Dhoni (13) in the death overs and prevented the tourists from posting a big total.

At the end of the 30th over, India were 171/2 but they could add just 104 runs in the last 20 overs and clawed their way back into the game.

The visitors have once again failed to capitalise upon the good start and a solid partnership for the second wicket and couldn't finish the game in the way they would have hoped for.

Skipper Kohli (36) and Shikhar Dhawan (34) were the other batsmen who crossed the 30-run mark. It was Kohli's unlucky dismissal in run out, due to a mix-up between him and Rohit, that cost India badly. Kohli found himself way short of the crease after he was returned by his partner at the other end. It was the seventh occasion when Kohli and Sharma were involved in a run-out, second-most as batting partners.

Ajinkya Rahane (8) too suffered a similar fate like Kohli as he too paid the price of not realising the fact that Rohit hadn't responded to his call. It was Rahane's fourth successive poor show after that 79-run knock in the first ODI.

Hardik Pandya was dismissed for a golden duck and his poor form with the bat continued, which puts his reputation as a finisher into question. Pandya hasn't done anything worth-remembering on this tour ever since that 93-run knock against South Africa in the first Test.

Veteran Dhoni once again came into the middle at a crunch situation and with the main batsmen, all back into the hut tried to take the game to the last over and get some 10-12 runs. But he too was dismissed for 13 on the second ball of the 49th over.

The visitors must now be fancying their chances by chasing down the target of 275 and win the game.

Earlier, Aiden Markram won the toss and opted to chase against India. The bowlers once again justified his decision of chasing.

The two teams will now face each other in the sixth ODI at Centurion on February 16 for the dead rubber.

Story first published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 16:17 [IST]
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