AB’s ton can’t beat Kohli’s as India win
South Africa captain AB de Villiers tried his hardest, but his century was not enough to thwart India in the fourth ODI, and they defended their score of 299 to win by 35 runs and level the series at two all.
Virat Kohli was the reason for India's hefty tally, as he scored 138 of those runs in a fluid and exciting innings, which included five sixes.
De Villiers made 112 off 107 balls, but without much help from the other end, his side fell short and made 264 for nine. The century saw De Villiers become South Africa's leading ton-maker in ODIs, with 22.
India won the toss and opted to bat in Chennai, needing a win to keep the series alive. They got off to a poor start though, as Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan were out cheaply.
This left Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane to rescue the knock, and they did so by putting on a century stand, taking the score from 35 for two to 139 when Rahane fell. He was out for 45, caught behind off Dale Steyn.
Kohli continued to show his strength though, racking up another century partnership, this time with Suresh Raina. The pair added 127 runs over the next 18-odd overs, with Raina making a half ton.
The Proteas did well at the death though, with Steyn and Kagiso Rabada removing quick wickets. Once Raina was removed for 56, and Kohli fell to Rabada in the 49th over, India faltered.
But even though three more wickets fell in the last nine balls, India still posted a challenging score, one they would have been confident about defending.
The Proteas' chase started well enough, with Quinton de Kock batting quickly and Hashim Amla restored to the top of the knock. Amla was only able to make seven though, before being removed by Mohit Sharma.
De Kock and Faf du Plessis continued the chase, but the young wicketkeeper was out for 43 to Harbhajan Singh, and du Plessis followed soon afterwards for 17. This left the visitors on 79 for three in the 15th over.
David Miller's poor run of recent form continued as he was out for just six, leaving all the work for De Villiers and the middle order. During this innings, De Villiers overtook Herchelle Gibbs to become South Africa's second-highest run scorer in ODIs, behind Jacques Kallis.
Farhaan Behardien tried to assist his skipper, but his slow batting eventually proved too pressurised, and he fell to an LBW to Amit Mishra for 22. Chris Morris was also not long for the middle, run out for nine.
De Villiers kept going though, blasting away as his partners watched, but he was eventually thwarted by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, getting a top edge as he tried to hook a short delivery.
That essentially ended the chase's realistic hopes of achievement. Kumar removed Steyn and Aaron Phansgiso in the death overs, and while Rabada and Imran Tahir were able to see out the overs, the defecit was too great.
The final ODI, the decider, will be played in Mumbai on 25 October.
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