THE Standard Bank Proteas took full advantage of two weather interruptions to beat India by 5 wickets on the DLS method at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Saturday to keep alive their hopes of sharing the Momentum ODI series.
India now lead the series 3-1 with the remaining matches to be played at St.George’s Park on Tuesday and at SuperSport Park on Friday.
In the process the packed Wanderers crowd saluted two new heroes in Heinrich Klaasen and Andile Phehlukwayo who have played a combined total of just 25 ODIs. The pair secured the victory after the Proteas were set a revised target of 202 in 28.4 overs with Klaasen making an unbeaten 43 off 27 balls (5 fours and a six) and Phehlukwayo an almost unbelievable 23 off 5 balls (a four, 3 sixes and a single).
Their partnership realized 33 runs off a mere 11 legal deliveries.
It followed a partnership of 72 in one ball short of 7 overs for the fifth wicket between Klaasen and David Miller (39 off 28 balls, 4 fours and 2 sixes). In the process they put the feared Indian spinners to the sword as the two went for 119 runs in 11.3 overs although they took three wickets between them and it turned what looked like being a very tight finish into a relatively comfortably victory that was achieved with 15 balls to spare.
The onslaught was started and probably inspired by AB de Villiers when he hit two sixes in an over.
The Proteas got two good breaks from the weather interruptions. The first came when India, having won the toss, were in complete control, reaching 200/2 in 34.2 overs.
The Proteas got two wickets immediately the game resumed including the key one of Shikhar Dhawan who celebrated his 100th ODI with his 13th ODI century (109 off 105 balls, 10 fours and 2 sixes).
The Proteas then produced one of the best bowling performances in the final power play between the 40th and 50th overs that saw just 59 runs conceded.
As a result the initial target was 290 rather than the 300 and plenty that had looked likely.
The second break came when the Proteas had reached 43 for the loss of Aiden Markram’s wicket in 7.2 overs.
The revised target meant that the Proteas needed a further 159 off 20.4 overs which required a switch to T20 mode and a required run rate of 8 to the over for a short period of time rather than almost 6 to the over for a full 50 overs.
The key thing for the Proteas was that they managed to put pressure on India for the first time in the series rather than having to soak up all the pressure themselves and that led to inevitable mistakes, none being the more important than the reprieve Miller earned when Yuzvendra Chahal bowled him with a no ball.
The Wanderers crowd certainly got their money’s worth as did the Pink Day which raised a record sum of R1 640 652, virtually double what had been raised the previous year.