Hardik Pandya once again proved that the role of fielding in the modern cricket cannot be looked down. The fifth one-dayer at Port Elizabeth stood as an example of it.
Pandya’s direct hit on the stumps provided the team a turning point at the crucial movement. Misjudgement of senior player Hashim Amla between the stumps just some centimeters away turned the match upside down.
Before this, Amla made a pivotal contribution to the team with 71 runs off 92 runs under high-pressure. Within no time after the departure of this opener, the Safaris Innings collapsed failing to chase 275 runs. By this memorable 73-run victory of team India at St. George park, men in blue cruised towards their first ever bilateral series victory on the South African soil. The South Africans were bowled out at the score of 201 runs.
In the beginning, in the 275 runs chase against the visitors and to save their face in the series, the openers made a good start attacking the Indian seamers. At last, Amla was dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah.
Hardik Pandya strengthened the position of the team by his consistent line and length deliveries though the pitch was slightly sluggish. His deliveries helped in troubling JP Duminy and AB De Villiers as well.
Pandya got a chance to bowl out Amla as well but due to misjudgment of Rahane, he missed it out. However, Amla succeeded to encash his loose deliveries.
Hashim got another life in the bowling of Chahal when the wrist-spinner wanted to make out a wicket when the batsman hit a sweep shot. But the bowler failed to convince the umpire about his dismissal. As the team availed DRS to make a decision about David Miller’s dismissal earlier, men in blue lost the chance to use this option again.
The partnership between Amla and Klassen seemed to flourish but Pandya’s intelligent fielding turned the result of the match upside down in 35th over when the team needed 110 runs off 96 balls. When the decision about the run-out was referred to the third umpire, he gave benefit of doubt to the fielder.
After the dismissal of Amla, the wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav succeeded in dismissing Phehlukwayo. He then cleaned up the lower order of the hosts, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi and Klassen with a difference of four deliveries. Then Chahal stumped out Morne Morkel, making the team’s victory complete, leading to a historical triumph.