Dhoni finds form as India level ODI series

Captain MS Dhoni scored an unbeaten 92 while the bowlers completed the job as India beat South Africa by 22 runs in the second ODI to level the five-match series at on-all.

India, having won the toss and not having been helped by the catastrophic run out of Virat Kohli, looked dead and buried when they collapsed to 125 for six after 30 overs.

But the one wicket of value they still had in hand was that of Dhoni, who rallied his bowlers around him and personally made sure that India batted out their 50 overs by turning down singles in the last three overs of the innings rather than let his number 11 on strike.

He nevertheless compiled an unbeaten 92 and, as his counterpart, AB de Villiers, had done in the first ODI, finished the innings with a defiant six.

He then handled his bowling attack superbly to defend a total of 247 which looked well short of par.

He gave an early indication of his tactics when he brought his two specialist spin bowlers, Harbhajan Singh and Axar Patel, into the attack after only 5 overs.

Nevertheless the Proteas looked to have a two-nil series lead in the bag after two good partnerships up front – 40 for the first wicket between Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock and 82 for the third between Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy.

When Duminy was dismissed, coming in number four ahead of De Villiers, who suffered a lower back strain, the target was only 114 runs in 26 overs with seven wickets in hand.

As De Villiers admitted afterwards that the Proteas had put up a poor batting performance although they were not helped when their last remaining specialist batsman, Farhaan Behardien, got out in an unfortunate manner.

After that it was left to the bowlers to get the Proteas over the line and, although they came up short, there was at least evidence that Kagiso Rabada has the potential to develop into a bowling all-rounder.

He was the last man standing at the end and again impressed with his calmness and maturity in a pressure situation, not to mention the quality of some of his strokes.