About the Match
India yet again bounced back with a win against South Africa by 35 runs in the fourth ODI
to keep the series alive; they will meet each other for the 5th and final match on 25th Oct at Mumbai, which will decide the fate of the ODI series. Batting first, the men in blue posted 299 runs on board after a terrific effort by the middle order batsmen; the spinners then defended the total well by dismissing key players and restricting South Africa to 264 runs to win the match. The upcoming decider will definitely test the perseverance and strategy skills of both the teams; the side that can muster all its strength and resources on the field to dominate the opposition will emerge victorious.
Kohli’s amazing performance with the bat which earned him a smashing 138 off 140 deliveries helped the team get the scoreboard to a competitive 299 runs. Rahane and Raina stuck their feet firmly on the ground and contributed to keep the runs coming.
The spinners led by Harbhajan Singh who took 2-50 in his 10-over spell demolished the Protean chase; he was supported well by Patel and Mishra who took one scalp each. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was brilliant with his 3-68 figure, exhibiting determination to help the team remain in the hunt. Mohit Sharma also came good with his wicket-taking ability as he dismissed Amla right in the 6th over to provide the breakthrough.
Overall, the batsmen and bowlers have done well to put up a tough challenge to the high flying South Africans, after suffering defeat initially; if they can stay motivated and strategize well against batsmen like AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock, the Indians look well placed to win the match.
Kagiso Rabada was astounding with 3-54 that removed the key players in the Indian top order; Dale Steyn made an impact with his pace attack as he pressurized the middle order of the opponent, removing 3 wickets for 61 runs. The bowlers combined well to restrict India to below 300 but the batsmen failed to achieve the target, falling behind by 35 runs.
Ab de Villiers continued with his brilliant form as he posted 112 off 107 balls; he got good support from Quinton de Kock, who scored a quick 43 runs. But others like Faf du Plessis, Miller and Behardien fell to the spin tactics of the hosts and were unable to get the scoreboard ticking.
They have won crucial matches in the series and now it all hangs on the deciding game on Sunday; they must draw their strengths and focus on the positives to take the title with a comeback performance.
India kept control of the proceedings in the last match but they should be cautious against the hard-hitting Proteans, who can make a comeback from any situation here. While the contest could swing either way, keeping the fans on the edge of their seats throughout, we feel that the hosts will emerge victorious and lift the trophy on Sunday