Dhawan ton in vain as South Africa fight back in ODI series

AB de Villiers returns last three ODIs South Africa India cricket

The South African Cricket team attended a practice session on Monday in Port Elizabeth ahead of the fifth ODI against India.

However, for South Africa wicket-keeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen, who played his first match of the series and assured them a comprehensive victory in the Johannesburg encounter, had looked to tackle the Indian wrist spinners well.

Klaasen scored a magnificent unbeaten 43 off only 27 balls (5×4, 1×6) to help propel the South Africa to a five-wicket win via the Duckworth/Lewis method. South Africa won by 80 runs.

India have been unchanged throughout the series and it would be a surprise if they toyed with their line-up given their impressive form and the fact that top spot in the ODI team rankings is on the line.

South Africa allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo says the team has a strategy laid out to effect early dismissals in an attempt to have a go at the Indian middle order which has yet to fire‚ albeit‚ with limited opportunities. There were plenty of positives they can take heart from, like the fact that despite Shikhar Dhawan (109) and Kohli (75) getting among the runs, they restricted India to 289/7. "We will get our basics right and continue our good run, he said". In the match, Aiden Markram played as the captain which makes him the 2nd most younger captain of South Africa in ODI.

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Port Elizabeth was under a heavy cloud cover through large parts of Monday, and there is rain forecast in the morning at least on Tuesday, which will have to be factored into both teams' plans. "He's a cool, calm and experienced cricketer and he just said, 'Anything in our slot we need to back and whatever we decide to do, we need to do fully.' So we were very calculated in our approach there". It was the eighth century partnership for the second wicket between these two batsmen, the most in ODIs Indian cricket, drawing level with Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid who also have eight.

India may not want to tinker with the XI too much, and will wait on Kedar Jadhav's fitness too. Later another rain break meant 113 minutes were lost during South Africa's innings and the match was reduced to 28 overs with 202 being set as the revised target. His return has infused some competitiveness into the series. Silly errors. Sure, it was one bad day but the strategy of the side remained inexplicable. The atmosphere was ballistic and this will be a massive confidence boost to get the first win under the belt, it's really lifted the spirits and our belief.

The match witnessed a few action-packed moments, that saw dropped catches, poor fielding and the South African batsmen dominating the Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav for the first time in the series. "But it was all calculated and planned out, what we wanted to do", he remarked. "We did not deserve to win tonight, that's the way the game goes", the skipper lamented.

"We have obviously been training really hard". One of them was a wicket-taking delivery that was not to be.

"We have been doing good analysis and have good game plans".

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