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SA pull one back, keep series alive

Shikhar Dhawan’s 109 in 100th ODI goes in vain; Hosts knock off revised target

Virat Kohli on way to his 75 on Saturday

Johannesburg: South Africa kept the one-day series alive with a five-wicket victory over India in the fourth ODI on Saturday.

Chasing a revised target of 202 in 28 overs, the hosts reached 207 for five in 25.3 overs. Andile Phehlukwayo (23 off 5 balls) and Heinrich Klaasen (43 off 27 balls) were the unbeaten batsmen at the close.

Hashim Amla (33 off 40 balls) and David Miller (39 off 28 balls) had set up the chase nicely.

Earlier, opener Shikhar Dhawan made his 100th one-day International appearance memorable, slamming a breezy century to guide India to 289 for seven .

India could have got more but a rain interruption punctured their momentum after Dhawan's hundred.

Dhawan (109), who put on 158 with skipper Virat Kohli (75) for the second wicket, thus became the first Indian batsman to score a century in his 100th ODI.

This was after India won the toss and opted to bat on a true batting surface. The visitors made one change, bringing in Shreyas Iyer for Kedar Jadhav, who had suffered a hamstring injury during the third ODI in Cape Town.

South Africa made two changes, bringing in Morne Morkel for Imran Tahir. AB de Villiers, who averages 112.50 in five Pink ODIs, replaced Khaya Zondo in the Proteas' XI.

Shikhar Dhawan celebrates his century on Saturday. (Reuters)

The Wanderers was expectedly bathed in pink for a good cause of creating awareness and raising funds for breast cancer.

A change in scenery though didn't reverse Rohit Sharma's floundering fortunes on this tour. He was out cheaply again, this time for 5 off 13 balls, as Kagiso Rabada (2/58) took a brilliant reflex return catch diving forward.

The TV umpire ruled against Rohit who walked back as his ODI average fell to 11.45 in 12 matches on South African soil.

Dhawan and Kohli then came together, replicating their success from previous matches in the series. Together they attacked the South African attack, finding the pitch much to their liking.

The duo added 100 off as many balls as South Africa looked lost for ideas with Markram's leadership inexperience showing in his odd field settings.

Kohli looked unstoppable and the highlight of his innings was a straight six off Lungi Ngidi (2/52) as the batsman just walked down and launched him over the sightscreen.

In doing so, Kohli became the second batsman after De Villiers to score 350-plus runs in an ODI bilateral series on South African soil. De Villiers had scored 367 runs against Pakistan in 2013.

Against the run of play, the Proteas etched out a wicket as Kohli hit straight to cover off Morris in the 32nd over. Overall, Kohli faced 83 balls inclusive of seven fours and a six.

Afterwards, Dhawan reached his hundred off 103 balls, celebrating his day in style.

Thunder and lightning forced players off the field, and there was brief rain as well. More than 53 minutes were lost due to the same, but no overs were lost.

That break served South Africa well though as India lost two wickets in the space of 14 balls after resumption. First, Dhawan was caught at mid-off off Morne Morkel (1/55) and six balls later, Ajinkya Rahane (8) holed out to deep square leg.

Shreyas Iyer (18) was sent out at No.5 and together with Mahendra Singh Dhoni (42 not out off 43 balls) calmed the situation for India, before Iyer was caught at long on off Ngidi in a bid to get the scoring rate up. 

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