Proteas won the Pink ODI thanks to a no-ball and God of Lightning flashing on them.
Cricket is a funny game. A single delivery can change the entire momentum of the match and that’s what happened in the Momentum series’ 4th and the Pink ODI between India and South Africa.
A wicket for a no-ball and a drop catch in the previous ball shifted the game from India to SA. Chahal was the unlucky bowler and Shreyas Iyer dropped the catch while David Miller was the batsman on both the occasions. After the scare of getting out two times Miller made full use of the lives given to him to help SA cross the line along with Klaasen.
Before the start of the Pink ODI, there was a lot of talk about AB De Villiers and his impact on return. Even though he showed a glimpse of threat, the Indians dismissed him quickly. But like an out of syllabus topic in an exam, the weather turned out to be a major factor in South Africa’s win.
In the first innings as Dhawan completed 100 in his 100th ODI players were taken off for a time period because of lightning or inclement weather as the big screen in the ground read. As soon as the play resumed pitch slowed down a bit, it was much more colder and the Indian batsman looked struggling to take the score to over 300. They even found it difficult to time the ball and eventually ended at 289/7. Things would have been much worse but thanks for the efforts of MS Dhoni’s eventful 42(43).
While the second innings began Proteas openers looked comfortable and scored at ease against Indian seamers. Then came Bumrah with his brilliant in-coming delivery which had SA’s skipper Aiden Markram out LBW and he along with Amla successfully wasted the only review available. Things looked India’s favour again but played stopped as soon as this wicket fell. This time we even had rain.
While the play started after a long delay, the revised playing conditions, damp outfield and wet ball were all against Indian bowlers especially the spinners who were punished severely. The drop catch and the no-ball added wind to the storm that only took South Africa over the line.
The series is though in favour of India as the scoreline looks 1-3 towards Kohli’s men. They are just one win away from a historic series victory and on the other hand South Africa has to win the next two to draw the series. Again the Proteas will be hoping that AB De Villiers comes good for them. And interestingly the Indian wrist spin twin Kuldeep and Chahal were kept under pressure for the first and it will be interesting to see how they bounce back. Because wrist spinners will be at their best when they are attacked.