India beat South Africa by 73 runs in the fifth ODI in Port Elizabeth. They thus took a 4-1 lead in the six-match series and thus won their first ever ODI rubber in South Africa. Prior to this, every bilateral ODI series that India have played in South Africa have only resulted in a win for the home side. This result also means that India would remain on top of the ODI rankings once an official announcement is made. Wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have been lethal throughout the series save for the match at Johannesburg and it was the pair who got the goods for India. In the batting department, Rohit Sharma, who has had a dismal tour of South Africa in the ODIs and the preceding Test series, scored 115 off 126 balls.
Despite that though, India could only manage to put on 274 runs which was well short of where they looked capable of getting when their big guns were firing. Captain Virat Kohli, who has had a stellar series so far, was looking good before a mixup with Rohit led to him being run out. Ajinkya Rahane met a similar fate while opener Shikhar Dhawan managed to put on 34 off 23 balls. MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar added the finishing touch to the Indian innings.
South Africa looked like they had the upper hand for a better part of the chase but Chahal and Kuldeep turned the screws in the end. Apart from that, the Indian fielders also played a role with Hashim Amla, the top scorer for South Africa being dismissed by a brilliant direct hit from Hardik Pandya. Kuldeep Yadav was particularly destructive, taking three wickets in the 41st over and practically ending the match. Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Morne Morkel to finish the match and the series.
Here are a few reactions to the historic win:
Many Congratulations to the Indian Cricket team on their first bilateral series win in South Africa. Brilliant consistency and hunger throughout and winning this series overseas is just a sign of things to come. Special team #SAvIND pic.twitter.com/eISyJ6HzUN
Congratulations to Virat Kohli and his Indian team on yet another stellar performance and a series win. This is Virat Kohli ‘s India and its a special team. Great great result. #SAvIND
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) 13 February 2018
Congratulations India on a historic series win. The wrist spinners have been incredible and this win must be really sweet for Virat and the boys. Thoroughly outplayed South Africa #SAvIND
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) 13 February 2018
This is a memorable moment for this side. Have done something that previous Indian teams couldn’t. Win an odi series in SA
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 13 February 2018
— MANOJ TIWARY (@tiwarymanoj) February 13, 2018
The sixth and final ODI will be played at Centurion where the second ODI was played. This will be followed by a three-match T20I series that will start at Johannesburg.