Lungi Ngidi took 4-51 as South Africa limited India to 274-7 in the fifth ODI at St George’s Park.
India have fired and then faded for the second time in two matches. The visitors dominated the Proteas attack for much of the first innings at the Wanderers last Saturday, only to lose momentum as the 50-over mark approached. They were similarly dominant in the first 40 overs of today’s contest, and then similarly poor in the final 10.
Credit, once again, should go to the Proteas for fighting back at the death. India went into the final 10 overs with the score on 219-3. They looked set for a total in the region of 320 – a formidable effort given they were put into bat by Aiden Markram earlier in the day.
Thanks to the efforts of Ngidi in particular, the Proteas pulled things back to ensure that India posted a less intimidating total.
Sharma was the leading run-scorer for the visitors. After failing in the first four matches of this series, the opening batsman was involved in three substantial partnerships at St George’s Park. Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, and Shreyas Iyer all worked hard to set the platform for a big total.
The Proteas didn’t ask enough questions of the India top-order in the first 20 overs. Dhawan raced to 34 off 23 balls before attempting one big shot too many and picking out the fielder on the square-leg boundary. From there, Sharma and Kohli put on 105 runs for the second wicket.
Then India, or more specifically Sharma, made several poor decisions that brought South Africa back into the contest. Sharma ran-out Kohli, and then Ajinkya Rahane. He should have been out on 96, when he attempted to ramp Kagiso Rabada for a boundary. Tabraiz Shamsi put the relatively straight-forward chance down at third man.
That mistake only cost the hosts 19 runs, though, as Ngidi had Sharma caught behind in the 43rd over. Ngidi took two more wickets in quick succession to curb India’s momentum.
The fast bowler claimed his fourth victim when he knocked over MS Dhoni. He finished with career-best figures of 4-51.
In the end, the Proteas limited India to 55 runs in the final 10 overs.
Left-arm spinner Shamsi caused a few problems for the India batsmen earlier today. If Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav manage to exploit that turn and bounce later on, the Proteas may be in trouble.
India currently lead the six-game series 3-1.
India 274-7 (50 overs) – Rohit Sharma 115, Virat Kohli 36, Lungi Ngidi 4-51
South Africa need 275 to win
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