Duminy sparks turnaround

Jean-Paul Duminy guided South Africa to a respectable total.-AP

The left-hander, who has batted beautifully in the middle-overs through the series, added 70 for the sixth wicket with Johan Botha (44) and 54 for the seventh wicket with Robin Peterson (31) to fortify South Africa's position. By S. Ram Mahesh.

India let slip the opportunity to win its first one-day series in South Africa in the fourth ODI. M. S. Dhoni's side failed to punish South Africa after having it at 118 for five at St. George's Park. Dispirited by the opposition's recovery, India ran into trouble in its chase of 266 under lights. It floundered to 137 for six in 31.3 overs before rain interrupted play.

When play resumed, after an hour and 17 minutes, India required 123 off 87 balls. Only eight balls were possible before showers forced the players off the field again. Play never resumed, and India lost by 48 runs (Duckworth-Lewis method). Thus did South Africa level the series 2-2.

Virat Kohli (87 not out, 92b, 7x4, 2x6) impressed all those who saw him with the spirit and the quality of his batting. But with no one to support him, he ploughed a lone furrow. India's hopes were raised briefly when Kohli and Suresh Raina added 63 after India slumped to 49 for three.

But after Raina was stumped off Robin Peterson, Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan left in quick succession. Although India's first mini-collapse was not as dramatic as this slide of 16 for three, it hurt the touring side nearly as much.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe dismissed both openers. Rohit Sharma cut the left-armer to J. P. Duminy. One for one became 32 for two when Parthiv Patel, who replaced M. Vijay in the side, missed a full delivery directed into him to be adjudged leg-before.

Yuvraj Singh was the third to fall, top-edging an attempted paddle-sweep and was caught by a diving Graeme Smith who had run from first slip to backward short-leg.

Kohli's timing seemed to desert him after a bright start where he had driven Tsotsobe though cover, but he didn't throw it away. He batted himself back into touch before punishing Peterson with two sixes.

But Kohli, unlike J. P. Duminy, hadn't the support he deserved. Duminy (71 not out, 72b, 2x4, 1x6) sparked South Africa's turnaround with a busy, well-constructed team. The left-hander, who has batted beautifully in the middle-overs through the series, added 70 for the sixth wicket with Johan Botha (44) and 54 for the seventh wicket with Robin Peterson (31) to fortify South Africa's position.

Hashim Amla had earlier made 64 and added 57 with his captain, Graeme Smith. India broke through shortly afterwards, dismissing Smith. But the touring side didn't follow the wicket well. Harbhajan Singh had a poor day, his first five overs going for 34.

India managed to hurt South Africa, however, reducing it from 106 for one to 118 for five. Kohli was brilliant in the field, running two batsmen out and catching another. But again India let South Africa off, not pressuring the batsmen enough. Duminy accepted the gift and made India pay.

“We have had a few brain fades in this series,” said Smith. “Again we were in a really good position, and through our own doing got ourselves into a tough position. We showed a lot of determination, a lot of character, and a lot of skill. Obviously JP played really well to get us to that total.”

THE SCORES

Fourth ODI, Port Elizabeth, January 21, 2011. South Africa won by 48 runs (D/L method).

South Africa: H. Amla (run out) 64; G. Smith c Harbhajan b Nehra 18; M. van Wyk c Kohli b Yuvraj 15; A. B. de Villiers c Dhoni b Yuvraj 3; J. P. Duminy (not out) 71; F. du Plessis (run out) 1; J. Botha st. Dhoni b Yuvraj 44; R. Peterson (run out) 31; D. Steyn (not out) 4; Extras (b-1, lb-1, w-10, nb-2) 14. Total (for seven wkts., in 50 overs) 265.

Fall of wickets: 1-57, 2-106, 3-111, 4-115, 5-118, 6-188, 7-242.

India bowling: Zaheer 9-1-55-0; Munaf 8-1-49-0; Nehra 6-0-27-1; Harbhajan 10-0-61-0; Yuvraj 8-0-34-3; Rohit 2-0-6-0; Raina 3-0-13-0; Pathan 4-0-18-0.

India: Rohit Sharma c Duminy b Tsotsobe 1; Parthiv Patel lbw b Tsotsobe 11; V. Kohli (not out) 87; Yuvraj Singh c Smith b Botha 12; S. Raina st. de Villiers b Peterson 20; M. Dhoni c du Plessis b Peterson 2; Y. Pathan c de Villiers b Morkel 2; Harbhajan Singh (not out) 3; Extras (lb-2, w-2) 4. Total (for six wkts., in 32.5 overs) 142.

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-32, 3-49, 4-112, 5-123, 6-128.

South Africa bowling: Steyn 4-0-15-0; Tsotsobe 6-1-25-2; Morkel 6-1-13-1; Botha 6.5-0-27-1; Peterson 8-0-46-2; Du Plessis 1-0-5-0; Duminy 1-0-9-0.