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One Day International Series
South Africa win by 48 runs Right, the game has been called and South Africa claim the series-levelling victory. While the rain may have delivered India's last rites, the hosts looked set to edge this one. Both sides will have a lot to think about heading into the decider at Centurion, with the top order batsmen in each team making poor decisions. Join us on Sunday for the fifth and final game, it's sure to be a cracker.
20:35 GMT A decision regarding whether or not the game will continue will be made at 20:45 GMT.
20:30 GMT It's still raining and you can't see them coming back out now, I imagine the game will be called fairly soon but I've been proven wrong on many occasions!
20:18 GMT The covers come on and the players head off. The overs will start dropping off at a greater rate now.
Over 33 Botha 1-1-0-0-2 142-6 - Johan Botha comes on to replace Robin Peterson. Kohli is at immediately as he dabs the ball into the leg side and scampers through for one. Oh boy, it's raining again. They push on though and Harbhajan gets a top edge off an attempted sweep and it loops short of Smith at short fine leg. There is a chance for the run out but the skipper stumbles as he tries to get to the ball. Two more to Kohli and that will be all the run scoring for the moment as the players leave the field once again with the rain taking centre stage once again.
Over 32 Tsotsobe 0-4-2-0-0-1 138-6 - It's Tsotsobe to continue the over that was interrupted by the rain. Kohli gets the scoring back underway with a single into the leg side which also sees him keep the strike.
As it stands We've lost four overs to the rain and the victory target drops to 260. Which means that India need 123 more from 87 balls.
20:05 GMT Things are changing quickly here, the covers are coming back out and the players are warming up.
20:02 GMT Change of plans, it's started raining again and the covers are back on!
20:00 GMT Right, play should get back underway in ten minutes time with only four overs lost. India will need 258 to win it seems.
19:50 GMT The rain has stopped and the umpires are assessing the situation. With any luck we will have play in the not too distant future.
Rain stops play Unfortunate scenes as the players come off the field with the rain becoming a touch too heavy for the umpires liking. It's hardly bucketing down but enough to bring a halt to proceedings.
Over 32 Tsotsobe 0-4-2 137-6 - Tsotsobe returns. Another stupendous boundary from Kohli as he flicks the ball off his toes and wide of long on for four.
Over 31 Peterson 0-1-1-0-0-0 131-6 - Another solid over from Peterson as a few smatterings of drizzle begin to appear.
Over 28 Morkel 1-0-0-0-0-1 115-4 - Smith decides it's time to bring out the big guns, with Morne Morkel returning to the attack. Ooh, wide from Morkel and Dhoni goes hard at it, he fails to make any contact though and the South African fielders let him know it just beat the edge. Dhoni gets off the mark, guiding the ball to third man for a single
Over 26 Duminy 4-1-1-1-1-1 109-3 - One over for du Plessis, and on comes JP Duminy. Rotation doesn't allow batsmen to settle, but the same applies to bowlers and Duminy's first ball is a half-tracker which is easily pulled over midwicket for four by Kohli. Good placement there, and there are a couple of other adventurous shots in the over as the pair look to get a move on. For the moment they only pick up singles, but it's a handy over and this partnership is gathering momentum.
Over 25 Peterson 0-4-0-1-1-1 96-3 - Du Plessis' introduction has allowed Botha to keep four overs in the bag while Peterson switches ends. Kohli plays a superb lofted drive over extra cover for four, then strokes a single down the ground to bring up a fine half-century (67 balls, 5x4s). He's providing the backbone to the innings here, and now it needs some backup in the form of big hitting.
Over 24 du Plessis 0-1-1-1-wd-1lb-1 89-3 - It is du Plessis who comes on. Spin has worked well for the Proteas so far so it's worth Smith having a look at the new fella. It's not the worst over - six runs from it, including a wide and leg-bye - but the problem of course is that du Plessis is bowling leg spin, which is not a part-time recreation. It's a specialist art which generally needs specialists to execute it, otherwise there's a loose ball or two for the batsmen. There's one in that over, but fortunately for the bowler it's hit straight down the ground for one.
Over 23 Botha 1-2-1-0-1-1 83-3 - Faf du Plessis is warming up, so we might get a look at him momentarily, although Kepler Wessels would prefer to see the quick bowlers having a go at Raina. In the meantime Kohli times one nicely through the off side, and is only denied a boundary by some excellent fielding by van Wyk in the deep.
Over 22 Peterson 0-1-0-1-2-1 77-3 - Kohli gets a rare short ball, but gets too excited and misses as he tries to hit the ball too hard. Raina gets hold of one to smash it to wide long-on, but Tsotsobe gets round to make sure there are only two runs there.
Over 21 Botha 0-1-1lb-0-0-1 72-3 - Some sharp fielding at backward point by Tsotsobe and a good length from Botha make it very difficult for Raina to get off strike. He and Kohli need to lay some sort of platform for Pathan and Dhoni to tee off from.
Over 20 Peterson 0-4-2-1-1-0 69-3 - Useful boundary for India as Peterson slides down the leg side and Kohli gets a little tickle to the fine leg rope. Kohli drives the next one just past extra cover to grab two more, and from there the over is set up to be a good one for India. Eight from it in the end, but South Africa were 109-2 at this same stage.
Over 19 Botha 1-1-0-1-1-0 61-3 - Raina leaps down the pitch, suggesting he's looking to get after Botha, but the bowler reacts by dropping the ball in a bit shorter and so all the batsman can do is nudge it through cover for one. Aside from the full delivery which Yuvraj dispatched, Botha has bowled very well thus far.
Over 18 Peterson 1-1-0-1-1-1 57-3 - So the spinners are getting through some quick overs here, and the scoreboard pressure will begin to tell soon you fancy. Five singles are worked reasonably easily in this over, but still the required run rate edges up above 6.5 per over.
Over 17 Botha 0-0-1-0-0-0 52-3 - Botha's found his ideal length for this pitch, and is bowling particularly well to the left-handers now that there's some handy turn as well. Just a single from the over, so India have plenty to think about during the drinks break.
Over 16 Peterson 1-0-0-0-0-1 51-3 - Robin Peterson on now, and it's a pretty good time for him to be introduced with the new batsman, Suresh Raina, having just arrived. Kohli works a single from the first ball, but Raina takes five balls to get off the mark. Peterson made a very useful contribution with the bat, and now he's made a good start with the ball.
Over 15 Botha 1-6-0-0-0-W 49-3 - Boom! There it is. You just felt that India had to take Botha on, and indeed Yuvraj slams his first ball from the offspinner over wide long-on for six. Anything in the slot is going to disappear, but Botha comes back with a better length and some turn to give Yuvraj real problems as he beats the edge of the bat. WICKET! Botha's comeback in that over is complete when Yuvraj is removed with the final delivery. It's a great catch from Smith, albeit somewhat comic. Yuvraj tried to paddle the ball but got a top edge to where leg slip would be. Smith was at slip, ran and put in a sort of belly flop yet somehow timed that belly flop to perfection to take the ball inches off the ground. Then he leaps to his feet and celebrates with a look of crazed disbelief on his face. Priceless. Massive wicket that.
Over 14 Morkel 1-0-0-0-0-0 42-2 - Morkel's switched ends and seems to have come back even better. Kohli drives out to deep cover, and Yuvraj gets pinned down by a succession of short stuff which he either defends or finds himself playing and missing. The required run rate has risen above six an over now, and currently sits at 6.22.
Over 13 Botha 1-0-1-1-0-0 41-2 - Interesting move from Smith as he introduces Johan Botha. He had a good game in Joburg, where pretty much all the bowlers had decent figures, but has fetched seven or more an over in the other two games. He'll certainly be a target for the batsmen as they look for some relief from the pacemen, although they're happy to have a look in the first over. The singles are nudged, before Botha gets one to grip and turn and beat Yuvraj. Solid start for the offspinner then.
Over 12 Steyn 0-0-1-0-1-4 38-2 - Steyn back, but still there's no let-up in the pressure. Yuvraj gets off the mark with a quick single to point and Kohli dabs one behind square on the leg side, and with the required rate rising Yuvraj decides to take matters into his own hands. He moves around ins his crease, gives himself room and smashes a shortish delivery wide of mid-on for four. Brutal stuff.
Over 11 Morkel 0-0-0-0-0-0 32-2 - Bowling powerplay taken by South Africa, as you would expect. Kohli plays a couple of fantastic cricket strokes but hits them straight to fielders and expresses his frustration with that fact. It's a maiden for Morkel, and you feel something has to give with Kohli. Either he'll crack a couple of boundaries or the pressure will get the better of him.
Over 10 Tsotsobe 0-1-0-W-0-0 32-2 - WICKET! The slower ball does the trick and Tsotsobe has the breakthrough. It was a straight delivery to Patel, who tried to flick it away square but missed and was trapped dead in front. Yuvraj Singh is the new man, coming in on the back of his three-for, and he sees off the final two balls. So far it's been a discplined performance from the Proteas bowlers, who've made it very difficult for the batsmen to do any damage.
Over 9 Morkel 0-0-0-1-0-1 31-1 - Morkel into his stride now so he's found an extra yard of pace. Patel is beaten, then runs one down to third man for a single before Kohli is hurried and plays the ball down and just past his stumps. A scrambled single completes the over, but the last three overs have been very cheap for South Africa and the required run rate has risen to 5.75.
Over 8 Tsotsobe 1-0-0-0-0-0 29-1 - Very good over from Tsotsobe, forcing Kohli to play a lot of it defensively. Plenty of variation in pace as well to ensure the right-hander has to be very watchful.
Over 7 Morkel 0-1-0-0-0-2 28-1 - Patel wasn't particularly troubled by Steyn, so Smith decides to test him against Morne Morkel's bounce. He defends the first ball well, then slashes at the second and gets a top edge which takes one bounce on its way to the third man fielder. Kohli clips the final delivery away in wristy fashion to get a couple.
Over 6 Tsotsobe 0-0-0-4-2-0 25-1 - A slice of luck for Kohli as he reaches for one outside his off stump and gets an inside edge just past his stumps. Tsotsobe watches through his fingers as it runs away for four. A couple down to third man make it a decent over for India, who are going alright so far.
Over 5 Steyn 0-0-0-0-0-4 19-1 - Patel is hitting just about everything out of the middle of the bat with minimal foot movement, but is finding the fielders with everything. That's mostly because the off side field is packed - backward point, short point, cover, short extra cover and mid-off all in the inner ring. Eventually he plays an inelegant hack, and it proves more effective than his previously textbook strokeplay as it clears short extra cover and runs away for four.
Over 4 Tsotsobe 4-0-0-4-0-2 15-1 - Another glorious stroke, this time from Kohli as he gets a good stride forward to drive past extra cover for four. It prompts Tsotsobe to come around the wicket and change his angle. But a few balls later an equally good shot capitalises on a half-volley to ease it through the same region for another boundary. A clip off the pads through square leg brings two more and makes it 10 from the over, all scored from lovely cricket strokes.
Over 3 Steyn 0-0-4-0-0-0 5-1 - Shot!!! Goodness me, Patel has hammered that. South Africa have packed the area square of the wicket on the off side - clearly they've done some homework on Patel - but Steyn drops short and the little left-hander absolutely clobbers him over midwicket for a one-bounce four. That will do his confidence some good. By the way it's worth mentioning that AB de Villiers has the gloves - rather than Morne van Wyk. Makes sense because de Villiers needs as much game time behind the stumps as he can get ahead of the World Cup.
Over 2 Tsotsobe 0-0-W-0-0-0 1-1 - WICKET! Lonwabo Tsotsobe strikes in his first over to remove Sharma. He'd swung and missed at the first two deliveries; he made great contact with the third, but hit it straight to Duminy at backward point. Virat Kohli's the new man, and I reckon he's the key man for India. Well, him and also Yusuf Pathan, but I just fancy Kohli at the moment - just to watch him in the field is to see a man with fresh confidence in his game. He sees out the last three deliveries without scoring, so Tsotsobe's started with a wicket maiden.
Over 1 Steyn 0-0-1-0-0-0 1-0 - Steyn is right on the money straight away - back of a length just outside off stump - and, encouragingly for the Proteas, there's some swing for him. Sharma drives nicely to mid-off for a single to get off the mark, and Patel pulls away just as Steyn is about to deliver. It was very late and Steyn isn't happy about it, not only because he wasted all that energy but also because it's possible to get injured pulling out of a delivery stride at the last minute. Patel isn't flustered by an angry Steyn asking questions of him, and sees out the remainder of the over.
Welcome back We're all set, with Rohit Sharma ready to face the first ball from Dale Steyn, with Parthiv Patel at the other end. Predictions? Send to: Tristan.Holme@365.co.za
South Africa 265 for seven Having lost four wickets for 12 runs having got off to a promising start, South Africa will be happy to have reached 265. The man they have to thank for that is JP Duminy who rebuilt the innings with the help of Johan Botha and Robin Petersen. having thrown his wicket away at the Wanderers, Duminy made sure he was there until the end this time around to ensure that the hosts posted a competitive total. Will it be enough though? Join us in 40 minutes to find out.
Over 50 Patel 2-1-1-6-1-1b 256-7 - It's Patel to bowl the final over. Steyn works really hard to get back for the second as Duminy turns the ball behind square and the dive means he's home safely. Duminy needs to go for the boundary now and he does so with aplomb! A slower delivery from Patel and it's in the slot, Duminy gets down on one knee and launches it over deep midwicket! It's Steyn to face the final delivery of the innings and he goes for the big heave. He can't make contact and they scamper through for a bye.
Over 49 Zaheer 1-2-1-1-0-1 253-7 - The 250 comes up as Duminy turns the ball behind square and as he has all day, runs well to get back for the second. A tidy penultimate over from Zaheer as he concedes just six. Six more from the last over will see the hosts set their visitors a victory target of 260.
Over 47 Zaheer 1-1-4-1-4-1 238-6 - Duminy reaches his fifty as he opens the face of the bat and steers through slip for four. A great knock, he's steadied the ship and is now there at the end to hit the big ones. Super delivery! A great yorker from Zaheer crunches into Petersen's toe and flies past Dhnoi for four. Frustration for the bowler as the ball was sliding down leg and the umpire seems to think an inside edge too so no chance of an lbw but by no means a boundary ball.
Over 46 Patel 1-1-1-1-1-1 226-6 - Duminy and Petersen take the sensible option and show restrain early in the powerplay, nudging the ball around for six singles. One would imagine they'll wait another over or so before going for the big shots.
Powerplay time With five overs to go the home side will now be forced to take the powerplay. It may sound strange that bringing the field in is a bad thing for the batting team but such have been the calamitous performances in the period of late it seems a curse rather than a blessing. Incidentally, Dhoni is back on the field but Patel remains behind the stumps.
Over 45 Zaheer 1-1-0-1-1-0 220-6 - Zaheer Khan returns to the fray. Some nice blockhole bowling here from the left-armer, not giving the batsmen any room to free there arms.
Change behind the stumps Dhoni has left the field and Parthv Patel takes over the gloves. Dhoni ran off the field so it doesn't seem like there is a major injury invovled.
Over 44 Pathan 0-1-1-1-4-0 216-6 - Frustration for Pathan as Petersen gets a genuine outside edge past Dhoni and down to the third man fence for four.
Not too shabby While South Africa may not be where they would have liked, it's important to note that 250 has only been chased down on three occasions at this ground. So if the home side can get up there they;re most certainly in with a chance.
Over 43 Harbhajan 1-1-1-1-0-0 209-6 - Time for some frontline spin now with Harbhajan coming on, he's been more expensive than he would have liked. he's on target immediately, but can't prevent a handful of singles.
Over 42 Raina 0-0-1-1-1-1 205-6 - The runs continue to flow in ones and twos, we haven't had a boundary for five overs, which is a sign of the strength of the Indian 'part-time' spinners who have done a great holding job.
Over 41 Pathan 1-1-0-1-1-0 201-6 - Petersen brings up the South African 200 with a cut to point. After a good start the Proteas would have hoped to have marched past the 200 mark some time ago.
Over 40 Raina 0-1-0-1-1-1 197-6 - India are really hurrying through the overs here as Raina darts in for another over. He keeps the scoring down too though, just four singles off it. We're nearing batting powerplay territory now, I wonder what the home side have in mind, neither team have done particularly well with it in this series.
Over 39 Pathan 1-1-0-0-1-1 193-6 - Petersen and Duminy nudge and nurdle the ball around for a handful of singles as they look to consolidate after the loss of Botha.
Over 37 Pathan 0-0-2-0-0-1 186-5 - Wow, India are really showing they're an all-round outfit as the eight bowler of the day, Yusuf Pathan, comes on to bowl. Strange stuff from Pathan as he bowls from way behind the popping crease! I wonder what the tactic behind that is. Ooh, Botha looks to dink the ball past the 'keeper and nearly gets a little edge behind.
Over 36 Zaheer 4-0-1-2-1-1 183-5 - Zaheer Khan returns to the fray and Botha whips the second ball of the over wide off the man in the deep on the leg side for a lovely boundary. Some hesitation from Botha as Duminy hooks the ball wide of the fielder and calls his partner through for the second. The indecision nearly causes another run out but they get away with it. A good over there for South Africa, nine from it against India's premier fast bowler.
The men up top must score the runs Nic Gidaracos makes a good point regarding my concerns about Botha;s capabilities at number seven: "You shouldn't have to worry about whether or not he is capable of a fifty or better... if he is batting down the order, the assumption is that others ahead of him should steady the ship and score the runs. If Botha makes a 40 or so he has done his job. Any more and he has saved the bacon of those higher up the order. The lack of BMT with our team is astounding. It is no wonder we are the perennial under-achievers!" I guess having seen so many Proteas collapses one can't help but feel that the more batting the better!
Over 35 Patel 0-2-0-1-0-0 174-5 - Botha leaves the first delivery of the over. I don't mean to nit-pick, but at least offer a forward defensive, it depresses me to see leaves in one-day cricket! Botha works the ball behind point and the batsmen exhibit some good running 9as they have throughout the partnership) to pick up two.
Over 34 Nehra 1-1-1-2-wd-0-1 171-5 - After a brief break for drinks, the players are at it again with Ashish Nehra continuing. Botha and Duminy nudge the ball about the park and bring up the fifty partnership off 65 balls; nothing fancy from the pair, just safe and steady stuff.
Heading in the wrong direction? As is the case with a number of Proteas fans, Mornay Esterhuye is growing pretty frustrated: "This is absolutely RUBBISH... the Proteas is going backwards and at this rate will we not only loose this series but we will be coming home soon in the world cup...!!! Andrew Hudson and Co. are rubbish... Graeme Smith needs to be dropped very soon, so that his non performing buddies can also be shown the way...!!! I hope India smashes us today and seals their 1st series in S.A," he says.
Over 33 Patel 1-0-4-0-0-1 164-5 - Munaf Patel returns and he presents Duminy with a much-needed boundary ball; too short and it's pulled to the fence.
A real number seven? While Botha is steadying the ship nicely here, I must admit I have concerns about him coming in at number seven for the Proteas. Without a fifty in 40 innings (admittedly a number of which have been late game run-getting attempts), Botha is able to work the ball around but does he really posses the skill to score big runs down the order?
Over 32 Nehra 0-0-0-1-0-1 158-5 - Duminy squeezes the ball back down the track and it clutters into the stumps, however unlike what we saw on a number of occasions in the Test series, the bowler didn't get a hand on it! A great over from Nehra, just two off it as the batsmen struggle to get the ball away.
Over 31 Raina 1-0-0-2-2-0 156-5 - Suresh Raina is the latest of the part-timers to turn his arm over. Botha is doing a good job of finding the wide open spaces and picks up consecutive twos. The vice-skipper is nearly sent packing off the final delivery of the over as he looks to turn the ball to leg but is rapped on the pads. Umpire Cloete isn't interested much to Raina's frustration. Replays say it would have jsut clipped leg.
Over 30 Nehra 1-4-0-0-1-1 151-5 - Welcome boundary for South Africa as Nehra returns, bowls down leg and is nibbled away by Botha. That went very fine, so neither Dhoni nor the fine leg had a chance. A single to the off side brings up the 150 for South Africa, so they're going at a touch above five per over. Julia Harris (Julia.Harris@365.co.za) will take you through the rest of the innings.
Over 29 Harbhajan 2-1-1-0-1-0 144-5 - Streaky but safe from Duminy as he reaches for one and drives it over the head of extra cover. Three singles mean South Africa get the five an over that usher them towards a good score. Dhoni will fancy one more wicket here to really put the squeeze on them though, with only Robin Peterson and Dale Steyn to come among men with known ability in the bat-holding stakes.
Over 28 Yuvraj 1-2-0-0-2-0 139-5 - Botha sweeps away fine for a couple, but then gets tied down for a few deliveries. He makes up for it with a decent square drive through point for a couple to make sure the over isn't wasted.
Over 27 Harbhajan 1-0-1-2-1-0 134-5 - Some good footwork from Duminy sees him dance down the track and flick wide of long-on. This time Botha judges the second run well, and gets back to the non-striker's end in time. Five from the over, which is decent for the Proteas as they try and rebuild.
Over 26 Yuvraj 0-0-0-0-4-0 129-5 - Dhoni brings more men into the ring to prevent the easy singles - a good move. It forces Botha to go for the big shot, and this time he gets hold of it as he slog-sweeps through square leg for four. India would rather he does that - and takes a risk in the process - than four riskless singles being accumulated.
Over 25 Harbhajan 1-0-1-1-0-1 125-5 - Harbhajan back on now to try and increase India's advantage. There's a bit of turn available now, and Dhoni puts in a leg slip which very nearly brings dividends as Botha inside edges onto pad only for the ball to land just short of Kohli. At the halfway mark the Proteas probably have exactly half of a good score on this pitch.
Over 24 Yuvraj 0-0-2-0-0-0 121-5 - So it's been pace off the ball that's done the trick for India, and so Yuvraj continues. Just one poor delivery in the over - a short ball outside off stump which Botha slaps through a small gap between short cover and short extra cover. Yusuf Pathan does well to get around from deep cover and cut it off.
Over 23 Rohit 0-0-0-1-W-1 119-5 - WICKET! Make that four in four! This is astonishing. Complete mental disintegration here as du Plessis runs himself out. He wanted a single to the leg side which was never there, was quite rightly sent back by Duminy and is short of his ground despite the dive. It's Kohli who put in the slick fielding - a perfect throw to Dhoni left the keeper with a simple task. Johan Botha in now, and he just needs to calm things down even if the run rate drops. It's still above five an over, which is plenty, but the Proteas are now five wickets down. India doing well to turn things around.
Over 22 Yuvraj 1-W-1-1-0-0 117-4 - WICKET! Three wickets in three overs! This has been a terrible collapse as India turn the screws and de Villiers goes. It's a superb piece of wicketkeeping from Dhoni, but an ordinary piece of umpiring. De Villiers is given out caught, when he should have been out stumped. Taufel is the man who thinks there was a deflection, raising the finger only for replays to show there was no bat involved. But it doesn't really matter because de Villiers overbalanced and he was most definitely stumped as Dhoni showed lightning-quick hands. Faf du Plessis is put to the test in a pressure situation once again.
Over 21 Rohit 0-1-wd+W-2-0-1 114-3 - WICKET! Needless dismissal, and it's clear just how much Amla's wicket means to Dhoni. The batsman is run out taking an unnecessary second run to fine leg, and Dhoni leaps with delight after whipping the bails off. Amla called for the second one but was easily short of his ground to the extent that Simon Taufel didn't even need to go upstairs. Big wicket for India, who are right in the match now. JP Duminy and de Villiers together needing to put on a partnership similar to the one they produced in Durban.
Over 20 Yuvraj 1-W-1-1-1-0 109-2 - WICKET! Good breakthrough for India, and it's a great catch from Virat Kohli at slip. He took a bit of a blinder the other night, and while this looks less spectacular, I think technically it might be even better because he's had to lean forward to make sure it carries. Van Wyk is the man to go after getting an edge as he tries to angle it past the fielder, and he'll obviously be disappointed to have got in and then got out again. AB de Villiers in now, and he's off the mark straight away.
Over 19 Harbhajan 2-0-1-0-wd-4-0 105-1 - Bit of cat and mouse going on here. Amla starts off by dancing down the pitch to flick to square leg for two in an aesthetically-pleasing manner, but Harbhajan hits back with a few strangling deliveries. Then van Wyk makes up for the dot balls by playing a good late cut for four.
Over 18 Yuvraj 0-1-0-0-1-1 97-1 - A better over from Yuvraj, as van Wyk finds himself defending on the front foot for a few balls before finally getting off strike. Just the three singles.
Over 17 Harbhajan 1-1-1-1-3-1 94-1 - Surprisingly well played by the Proteas batsmen, who nudge the ball around for singles to keep the score ticking over. Van Wyk then makes it a really handy over when he angles the ball past the slip and it runs away for three.
Balance This from Zane Stevens: "At the end of the day it's all about balance. Without Kallis the selectors just can not seem to come to grips with it. I think having both Dumminy and Faf in the team does add a bit more balance but we all are looking for the finisher. Truly both these guys do add that element but just not in the same mould as a Klusener or Morkel have done in the past. Based on the squad selected I would go for the following team, if Kallis is available: 1. Smith 2. Amla 3. Kallis 4. De Villiers 5. Ingram 6. Duminy 7. Du plessis 8. Botha 9. Steyn 10. Morkel 11. Tsotsobe. The problem is as well that CSA (and the public) are always looking for four seam options. If Kallis can not play then Bring in Van Wyk and let him take the gloves. If we need an extra over of seam then De Villiers could bowl his meadium pace. I think four frontline bowlers to get through their 10 overs each and Faf and Dumminy to share a 10 over spell (or more?!) between. the truth is Faf is much more than a bits and pieces bowler."
Over 16 Yuvraj 4-2-1-1-1-1 86-1 - Fifty for Amla (53 balls, 8x4s), as he plays a very late cut to greet Yuvraj Singh with a boundary. He waited for that nicely - a little like his innings as a whole given that he left a lot of deliveries to start with, then slowly started to find the middle of the bat as he got the hang of the wicket's pace. He drives wide of long-off for a couple more, so South Africa are going along nicely here - 5.37 per over as the players enjoy a drinks break.
Over 15 Harbhajan 1-1-0-1-0-5wd-0 76-1 - Van Wyk did well on that horribly low wicket in the T20 prior to this series and he's doing a good job of getting himself in on this slow one here. He's fairly composed in the face of Harbhajan, who's bowling into a handy wind that gives him a lot of drift. In fact, it's such a stiff gale that it puts him off entirely, and the result is five wides down the leg side. That lifts the pressure rather, but the offspinner bounces back with a beauty - a topspinner that beats the outside edge of van Wyk's bat.
Over 14 Nehra 0-wd-0-0-0-1-0 68-1 - Quiet over from Nehra. "Good team, but the tail is still long and without a Pollock, Albie Morkel, Boucher. Semi-Final match. 30 runs needed from 18 balls,,,who is going to get the runs for us?" I do agree that the one thing South Africa lack is a proven power hitter down the order for that sort of situation (India have Pathan/Yuvraj, England have Morgan, Australia have White). But I don't think Albie Morkel has done enough for the one-day side to warrant continual inclusion. You can't carry a player for a tournament thinking, 'maybe today he'll come off'. I think it's better to play to your strengths, which in SA's case is a strong top order who should bear the responsibility. I also think we haven't seen the best of Ingram at international level but that it isn't too far away.
Over 13 Harbhajan 0-1-0-1-4-1 66-1 - Wonderful shot from Amla to lift the pressure and prevent another cheap over from Harbhajan. It was down the leg side, but Amla did incredibly well to get it away fine enough to beat short fine leg. This is a fast outfield and once it was passed the man it was always going to the boundary.
Over 12 Nehra W-0-1-1-0-0 59-1 - WICKET! Really sharp catch from Harbhajan at mid-off, as he makes three yards to his right and stretches for it. Smith got hold of the ball so he had to make that ground smartly, which he did. Poor time for Smith to get out in truth - he was just starting to see the ball properly when he slapped that one. Morne van Wyk in, and I would suggest he doesn't have a whole lot to lose here. He's in the squad, he's rated as a long shot to play, but he could turn a few heads with an eye-catching innings today.
Over 11 Harbhajan wd-0-0-0-1-0-1 57-0 - Harbhajan Singh on now while the bowling powerplay is taken. He starts with a wide down the leg side to Amla but quickly adjusts his length and becomes very difficult to get away. Just three from the over. "What about Morne Morkel?" asks Jacques Goosen. But as Chris Barnard points out, there are only 10 names below, so Morkel is indeed the man who's missing.
Over 10 Nehra 4-1-1-1-0-0 54-0 - Ashish Nehra into the attack now, and a poor start sees an overpitched delivery timed through the off side for four by Amla. That puts Nehra under pressure from his first ball, and although he hits a better length from there on three singles mean it's a slightly expensive first over.
Over 9 Zaheer 0-1-4-1-0-0 47-0 - Four more for Amla as Zaheer drops short and the right-hander rocks back to pull away over forward square leg. This partnership is just threatening to run away from India a bit now having initially looked anything but fierce. Clearly it's a pitch where you need some time to get in. Meanwhile Jon Wilson has headed for the day, so fire any mails in to Tristan.Holme@365.co.za. Your starting World Cup XI for the Proteas? I'll go with: Smith, Amla, Kallis, de Villiers, Duminy, du Plessis, Botha, Steyn, Tsotsobe, Tahir.
Over 8 Munaf 1-1-1-0-2-5nb-4 41-0 - A little like the South African batsmen, the St. George's band is starting to warm up now. The national anthem is first up, and they quickly get into the swing of another tune. Amla's short-arm jab through the off side brings a couple of runs, and then he gets hugely lucky as he gets a genuine edge for four. Actually it was a no-ball anyway! The slip had moved to a third slip position so his thin edge went straight through the gap for four, and he profits from the free hit as well as he gets down on one knee to slap it through wide mid-off for four. That takes him to 2,000 ODI runs, which is some tally given that he's only played 41 matches (average: 57).
Over 7 Zaheer 4-0-1-4-1-0 27-0 - Shot of the day from Amla, who waits for the ball to come on before just nudging it through backward point for four. That suggests he's just starting to get the measure of the pace of this pitch, although two balls later he inside-edges one past his stumps. A single from that piece of fortune brings Smith on strike, and he charges Zaheer to hoick one over mid-on for four. Didn't time it well at all, but there was enough contact and power to clear the man.
Over 6 Munaf 1-1-0-0-1-4 17-0 - Amla manuevres the ball into the gaps to get the scoreboard up and running again, and then Smith decides it's time for some aggression, so he comes down the pitch and smashes one wide of mid-on for four.
Tahir tactics "I think the SA big cheeses don't want to give Tahir a game as they don't want India to have a look at him yet," says Dereshen Govender. "Stupid decision in my opinion, the guy needs game time, and him making a debut at a World Cup is stupid. He needs to fit in now. Robin is rubbish, Davey Jacobs should be in the team. I have no idea what vendetta CSA has against him."
Over 5 Zaheer 0-0-0-0-0-0 10-0 - Smith beaten twice more - both of them fairly defensive strokes - in another maiden from Zaheer. South Africa have clearly decided that batting up front wouldn't be easy and that they must take a cautious approach, but I wonder how much longer this can go on. Credit to India though because so far the two bowlers have hardly deviated from the right line and length.
Over 4 Munaf 0-0-0-0-0-0 10-0 - Amla taking a highly circumspect approach here, with the ball doing a bit in the air and not coming onto the bat. Its sluggish nature is fully revealed by the final delivery when Patel offers a bit of width but Amla mistimes the ball as it comes through very slowly.
Robbie P Zane Stevens has a different take on Robin Peterson: "I hope Peterson makes us all eat our words. He is an explosive batsmen, a tidy bowler and an amazing fielder. Not many players around that can through equally well with both hands. I am not the biggest fan but the truth is SA cricket has ruined his career. Everytime he gets into some tpe of form they bring him into the squad and then he sits around not playing any cricket months at end. "
Over 3 Zaheer 0-1-1-0-0-0 10-0 - The status quo, as we have seen throughout the series, kicks in, with Smith beaten outside the off-stump time and time again by Zaheer. Bit of tennis-ball bounce on the go across this St George's Park track initially.
Over 2 Munaf 0-1-1nb-0-0-0-0 8-0 - No new ball for Nehra again, with Patel's superb form to good to leave him as a first-change bowler. Not too sorted yet on his run-up though, with Amla left to welcome a no-ball and subsequent free-hit, which he ultimately can't do anything with. A marginal shout for lbw ends the over, but bat before pad, so correctly a not-out decision from birthday boy Taufel, who turns 40 today.
Over 1 Zaheer 1-1-0-0-0-4 6-0 - A single apiece for Smith and Amla, who attend to the southpaw seamer's penchant for hitting a great line and length early on. Amla, then, seals the first boundary of the match with a lovely backfoot cover drive, with Zaheer left to rue something a touch too short and wide of the right-hander.
South Africa's Innings With handshakes, anthems and other such pleasantries a thing of the past, umpires Taufel and Cloete, batsmen Amla and Smith and the Indian XI head out to the middle for play. Strap in for the ride, folks. It's sure to be a cracker.
Parnell Poser "With the national selectors picking Parnell for the World Cup squad, I thought I maybe was the only one who saw that he didn't deserve the chance, at least for now, since he is mooted as one for the future. The inclusion of Peterson in the place of Parnell is a blessing for those of us who invest emotions into this game. But I would have vouched for Imran Tahir," says Boitumelo Moche.
'Rubbish' Peterson "Firstly, I want to talk about the World Cup squad. What are the selectors thinking in not picking Albie Morkel or Ryan McLaren? Why on earth is Peterson in the squad. He is rubbish. As for today's game, I honestly think we are not good enough to win it. India are missing four or so top players and still manage to beat the Proteas. And they're doing so on our pitches. Imagine how good they will be, and how poor we will be, on their wickets in the World Cup. Furthermore, why on earth is Tahir not being picked? He needs game time. Put van Wyk to open the batting with Smith, and Amla in at three in the order," insists Mornay Esterhuye.
Pitch And Weather Resident deck guru Mike Haysman and sidekicks Shaun Pollock and Kepler Wessels have collectively surveyed the playing surface, deciding that the ball is not going to swing a hang of a lot across an "easy paced" pitch. Wessels reckon the team batting first won't want less than around 240 runs. Plenty of wind about, which will at least keep the rain away. Temperatures sitting around 22 degrees Celsius.
(Un)happy Hunting Ground India don't have great memories of playing one-dayers at St George's Park. They've lost all four that they've contested in Port Elizabeth, including one to minnows Kenya(!) in 2001.
Team News Still no Tahir for the Proteas. Van Wyk in for Ingram. Robin Peterson in for Parnell, which adds to the firepower of the lower-order more than it does aid South Africa's spin attack. One change for India - Parthiv Patel in for Murali Vijay.
Toss This just in: Home skipper Smith has triumphed in the flip of the coin and South Africa will bat first. Dhoni probably would've done the same had he called 'heads' rather than 'tails'.
Early Picks "I would like to see Morne van Wyk in the place of Colin Ingram and Tahir replace Wayne Parnell. Having Morne and Graeme Smith open should give us better batting strength up front, with less pressure on the lower-order," writes Hermann Greyling. I couldn't have said it better myself. Anyone in Parnell's place is a better bet than the erratic seamer.
Greetings Hello and welcome to our over-by-over commentary over the fourth clash of the ODI series between the Proteas and Indians. The tourists lead the five-match affair by two wins to one. This one's at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth. Early thoughts on how proceedings could pan out welcome here: firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps dear Imran Tahir will finally get a game...
Read the views of former England captain Nasser Hussain with skysports.com.