India Durbanated: Visitors lose by 134 runs at Kingsmead, where they have never beaten SA in seven attempts

CricketSouth Africa's pacers, led by Lonwabo Tsotsobe (4/25) and Dale Steyn (3/17), ensured that India came nowhere close to their target of 281, bowled out for 146 (Photo: BCCI)

Generally, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's wicket, especially in a run-chase, would count among the most treasured in ODI cricket, one that sends the opposition a massive step closer to victory.

On Sunday, South Africa had the big fish in their net by the fifth delivery of the 19th over. As Quinton de Kock took a tumble to his right and emerged with the ball in his right glove, India had been reduced to 74/5, still 207 runs away from their target.

But there was no celebration or high-fives in the Protea camp. Rather than coming together in the centre, the South Africans had rushed back to their positions with Vernon Philander having jogged back to the top of his mark. Later, de Kock would admit that he 'wasn't too happy to take Dhoni's catch'.

These were not really bizarre reactions for the rain that had threatened to disrupt proceedings at Kingsmead had finally arrived — unfortunately at the most inopportune time for the hosts — with one ball remaining in the 20th over of the Indian innings. All South Africa required now for the match to be constituted and for there to be a result — that India would lose was already a given by then — was Philander to bowl the next delivery.

Running down the clock

By the fourth ball of the over, the groundsmen were all in position to rush out with the covers, and de Villiers had even used four overs of JP Duminy with the relatively new ball to ensure that the overs went by rapidly. Suresh Raina had played his part too. Calling for a change of gloves twice, and asking for medical assistance on two occasions for a thumb-injury.

As Dhoni walked away, the rain was only getting heavier with umbrellas coming up around Kingsmead. If you were an Indian fan, this is where you hoped that Ravindra Jadeja ambled to the crease, probably stopped to do his shoe-laces in between or even walked out with the wrong pair of gloves — anything to delay the inevitable. But the all-rounder wasn't thinking along those lines. He rushed to the wicket, much to the South Africans' delight. Jadeja was beaten outside his off-stump, and just like that the second ODI and the series was in the home team's pocket for all practical purposes.

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