Four games done and the scoreline reads 3-1 in the tourists' favour. The short-form game favoured the hosts and they came out triumphs. Is this the change that the South Africans needed? Can they build on this and inflict more defeats on India? We'll find out as the next game in Port Elizabeth gets underway at 1300 local time (1100 GMT) on one day before Valentine's Day this year. Would love to have your company for that game as well. Adios, take care till then!
Finally, Aiden Markram comes to the podium with a big smile. The victorious skipper feels relieved to have gotten over the line after having some tough games over the week. Reckons the rain interval being a blessing in disguise as that helped things for them. Says that they were confident of chasing 290 at the halfway stage in the game. States that they had looked to put fear aside and turn up confidently. Adds that it is important to not put more pressure from the inside in a sport which already has it's own pressures. Opines that it is good to have AB de Villiers back. About wearing Pink on more occasions, he jokes about taking it to every big tournament but then admits this to be a special occasion and sticking to just that.
HEINRICH KLAASEN, the Player of the Match, says this is the best game of his career. Admits to feeling very nervous, even though he has done such things in the domestic circuit. About playing the innovative shots, he frankly admits to trying them and they coming off tonight.
Time for presentation. Shaun Pollock is out there and he informs us that tonight's game, the Pink ODI has raised more funds than the last one played. VIRAT KOHLI, the losing captain, is called up first. He says that after the rain interval, the gap between the runs and balls remaining was about 35, which was slightly in favor of South Africa. Admits that his side didn't grab its chances and also to bowling no balls being criminal. States that they found it tough to adjust to the change of pace on the wicket. Reckons that while India was fielding, the ball was wet and that caused them some troubles. Goes on to credit the opposition, who had a hit-hit scenario. Mentions about South Africa having the momentum, which worked. Iterates that they felt that they had the game in the bag with de Villiers' wicket but Heinrich Klaasen came at them and took it away. Ends saying that they would be looking to rectify their mistakes and turn up stronger in the next game.
Where did India lose the game? Bowling, no doubt. All the arguments about the rain-break proving beneficial to the opposite team can be kept aside for the time being. Bowling no balls and dropping catches aren't associated with the weather. The away team was guilty on that count and hence paid the price. One question remains unanswered though - why wasn't Bhuvneshwar Kumar used post resumption even though the spinners were getting carted all over? Yes, the men who picked up most wickets in the previous games picked up 3 together this evening, but those came at a huge price. A game of introspection for the Indians. Did they LOSE it or did the opposition WIN it? Remember, their batsmen, lead by Shikhar Dhawan, did well to post a decent total on board, only for rain to then convert it into a 28-over run chase.
Miller was ably supported by the 2-match old Heinrich Klaasen. The duo strung together a 72-run stand in just 41 balls and took the game away from the visitors. If India would have expected a respite from the newcomer, they didn't get one. This was after Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram gave a good 43-run base. After they departed, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy couldn't contribute much. They were the prime dangers for the opponents. If people doubted the ability of Andile Phehlukwayo with the bat, he washed his hands in the flowing water with a quickfire 23 off just 5 deliveries, that flattened the egos, apart from the hopes.
India would be wondering what hit them. Whether it was the thunderstorm that struck them or was Killer Miller the destroyer? Of course, a cat is said to have seven lives while David Miller got two tonight. And boy, he made the opposition pay for that. Till the time he was dropped first by Shreyas Iyer and then clean bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal, only for the bowler to have overstepped, he failed to be comfortable. But post that, he seemed an altogether different monster. The lusty strikes off his willows suggested as if he believed that tonight was his to own.
The Pink ODIs remain clean for South Africa! Wonder if color of the jersey changes things to this extent. When in their traditional green and yellow, the Proteas seemed like mere mortals who were out to get worked away by spin. But tonight, it was the South African side that oppositions feared. The one that made the others run for their money. The one that has managed to hang in in the series.
Yuzvendra Chahal to Andile Phehlukwayo
SIX! Phehlukwayo finishes off in style as SOUTH AFRICA AVOID A SERIES DEFEAT TONIGHT! Gets down to this tossed up ball and plays the slog sweep for the umpteenth time. Gets two more than a boundary to end the game.
WIDE! Cleverly bowled. Tossed up at a slower pace, Andile misses his sweep and the ball spins just past the leg stick. Wide given. Harsh call.
SIX! Phehlukwayo looked clueless against the wrist spinners in the previous games and look at him now. Slinks down the track in a flash and hits it straight over the bowler's head for another biggie. Just two less than a boundary required now.
Yuzvendra Chahal to Heinrich Klaasen
This one is punched down to long for one.
Kuldeep Yadav to Andile Phehlukwayo
SIX! Up, high and above! Tossed up at a slower pace around off, Phehlukwayo gets down and slog sweeps it over the deep mid-wicket fence for another biggie. Just 9 needed now. 17 from this over and that probably averts the Proteas from being the chokers.
FOUR! This is a night where every shot seems to be coming off for South Africa. Phehlukwayo has his intentions of reverse sweeping this displayed on a billboard. Seeing this, Yadav floats it wider. Doesn't matter for Andile who goes through with his shot and gets it through backward point for a boundary.
Kuldeep Yadav to Heinrich Klaasen
Swept away through square leg for a single.
The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground.
This one is knocked through mid on for a couple.
FOUR! Well played. Short in length, spinning in a touch. Klaasen goes back and lofts it over covers for a boundary.
Flatter on the stumps, Klaasen gets his bat down hurriedly to play this through front of square on the leg side for one. 9 runs and a wicket in this one.
Bowled on the stumps, swept to deep square leg for a single to get off the mark.