January 22nd, 2011 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on SA LEVEL ODI SERIES
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South Africa won the toss and elected to bat in the 4th ODI on Friday against India being played at Port Elizabeth. South Africa piled up a score of 266 for the loss of seven wickets thanks to the half centuries by JP Duminy and Hashim Amla.

JP Duminy

JP Duminy

South Africa were cruising along comfortably at 100 for 1 after which they lost four quick wickets, two of which were needless run-outs. Then came JP Duminy to the crease who, alongwith Botha steadied the SA ship and added 70 runs along with him.

Amla took his time to settle down in the early overs, but soon unfurled his full range of strokes to pick up plenty of boundaries. All the three Indian pacers Zahir Khan, Munaf Patel and Ashish Nehra were punished by Amla.

Harbhajan Singh also strayed in line and length and Amla capitalised by working him through the gaps in the leg side. A slash to third man off Yuvraj Singh brought Amla his 12th half-century.

While Amla was cruising along comfortably it was Graeme Smith who perished trying to hit uppishly and holed out to Harbhajan at mid-off.

Morne van Wyk was caught at first slip off Yuvraj Singh who managed to turn one to take his out-side edge.

South Africa were 106 for 2, but with Amla scoring effortlessly. That changed in the next over, when a mistimed pull from Amla trickled towards short fine leg, just outside the inner circle. Amla went for a suicidal second run and it ended in suicide, as he was well short of the crease.

The worries increased when Yuvraj got the wicket of AB de Villiers in the very next over. de-Villiers was adjudged caught behind but though it was unclear whether he edged the ball, he can’t complain much as he was stumped as well off that delivery.

To add salt to the wounds of SA, Faf du Plessis lost his cool and set off for a single though the non-striker Duminy didn’t budge. The ball went only as far as Virat Kohli at midwicket, and his throw easily beat a desperate dive from du Plessis.

Duminy and Johan Botha then set about ensuring South Africa built a competitive score. Duminy continued to rotate the strike as he nudged the ball around for singles, while Botha hit a series of leg-side boundaries, the pick of which was an effortless flick off Zaheer, to keep South Africa afloat. Yuvraj ended that stand at 70, getting his third wicket with a tossed-up delivery that beat Botha’s sweep. 

Duminy, meanwhile, had brought up his fourth half-century in five innings with a gorgeous off-drive. South Africa managed to accumulate 266 for 7 wickets in the allotted 50 overs.

India sent in Parthiv Patel and Rohit Sharma to open the innings. This move back-fired as Rohit was out caught by JP Duminy and bowled by Lonwabo Tsotsobe for 1 run. It is due to lack of form that Rohit Sharma has not been included in the World Cup squad. 
Parthiv Patel was playing well but missed a delivery from Tsotsobe and was adjudged out lbw.

Kohli was the bright spot of the day for India, playing one of his finest international innings. He started with a couple of classy extra cover drives and was rarely troubled on a track where most found shot-making difficult. He was a touch tied down against the quicks , but opened out against the amiable left-arm spin of Peterson. Kohli hammered Peterson for 32 runs off 21 deliveries, including two effortless sixes over long-off.

While Kohli was crafting a stunning innings which will further his case for a starting spot in the World Cup, the rest of the middle-order stuttered. Yuvraj fell to an outstanding diving catch from Smith after top-edging a paddle-sweep, Suresh Raina hung around for a while without really convincing , before missing an arm-ball from Peterson.

For quite sometime now, M.S.Dhoni has not played a Captain’s match-winning knock. India’s lost the hope of winning this match and the series when Dhoni was out soon and Yusaf Pathan last only eight balls.

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