South Africa won the fourth ODI in Johannesburg on Sunday. It was a do-or-die game for the hosts and they did well in all aspects to clinch their first victory of the series. However, India still have the lead of 3-1 with two more matches to go.
South Africa had got a revised target of 202 runs in 28 overs because of rain interruption. It turned out to be an easy ask for the hosts as they chased down the target with 15 balls remaining.
After a 5 wickets defeat, Indian skipper Virat Kohli said that they did not deserve to win the game. He was also unhappy with the fact that India could not continue their good batting momentum after the lightning break in the first innings.
“South Africa pulled through, they deserved to win and we did not. The pitch got faster in the evening and the guys didn’t settle in the second half,” Kohli said.
It was expected that India will score a mammoth total going by the start they got. The tourists were 172 for 1 at one stage. But as soon as they lost skipper Kohli and a well set Shikhar Dhawan, South Africa took hold of the game.
Kohli said that in the second innings, the South African batsmen had the licence to go after them. It was more like a T20 game. “The second innings, we got a difference of 35 between runs and balls. It became a T20 game. The game got shorter (after the break) and it worked in their favor, having to go after the bowlers,” Kohli said.
While chasing the total, South Africa also suffered early blows. They lost AB de Villiers with team’s score reading 102, but David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen and Andile Phehlukwayo played aggressively to take them over the line.
Miller was bowled by leggie Yuzvendra Chahal but replays showed that the bowler has overstepped. The no-ball saved Miller and he later went on to win the game for this team.
“No-balls are fine lines. The boys try to do the best as well. The ball was a bit wet, not too wet, our spinners got a bit of turn, they improvised and it came off,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
This was Aiden Markram’s first win as captain of South Africa, and it also maintained their perfect winning record in the Pink ODIs. He also credited the break in the innings which helped stop India’s momentum.
“Super relieved to have got over the line today. To be able to pressure on the Indians is a good feeling. A blessing in disguise to have that break to break their momentum. It worked out well, happy to restrict them to 290. The message was to put fear aside and go out and express ourselves. We’re going to keep fighting, still not at our absolute best, but one step at a time,” he said.