South Africa vs India 2018: Yuzvendra Chahal's costly no-ball is SK Turning Point of the match
The common thread connecting the 2016 World T20 semifinal in Mumbai and 2017 Champions Trophy final in London points to Indian bowlers overstepping at the wrong moments. It was déjà vu once again in Johannesburg as another inopportune no-ball cost India a vital limited-overs match.
This time around, Yuzvendra Chahal was the culprit in the fourth ODI against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium. The leg-spinner bowled a beautiful delivery to castle David Miller. Alas, it turned out to be a no-ball and the left-hander duly capitalised by compiling the game-changing partnership with Heinrich Klaasen. Incidentally, this was Miller's second lifeline in the space of four balls as Shreyas Iyer had earlier failed to hold on to a catching opportunity.
Those pivotal moments led to a discernible change in momentum. Miller and Klaasen proceeded to add 72 valuable runs for the fifth wicket. Riding on the duo's aggressive stand, the Proteas managed to eke out a five-wicket victory and prevented India from closing out the six-match series.
Miller reprieved twice in one chaotic over
Chasing 290 for victory, South Africa got off to a strong start as Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla looked to set the tone. However, Jasprit Bumrah trapped the stand-in skipper in front to separate the openers. Following a rain delay, the hosts' target was revised to 202 from 28 overs by the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern calculation. Needing 159 runs from 124 balls, it was advantage South Africa as they had nine wickets intact.
After a few sedate overs, JP Duminy was contentiously adjudged leg-before off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav. The chinaman bowler prised out Amla as well to peg the Proteas. AB de Villiers smacked a couple of sixes off Chahal before throwing his wicket away through an extravagant flick.
In the 18th over of the innings, India reprieved Miller not once but twice. During the third delivery, the southpaw attempted a sweep shot against Chahal. The top edge flew in the vicinity of deep square leg. Despite running in and unfurling a dive, Shreyas Iyer could not complete the catch.
A couple of balls later, Miller was once again at the receiving end of some serendipity. Slowing his pace deliberately, Chahal tossed one up and got the ball to drift. The attacking left-hander's misguided attempt at a sweep led him to miss the line completely.
Upon being quick through his shot, Miller saw his stumps lay in tatters and prepared to leave the arena. But the umpire intervened and decided to check the bowler's front foot. After further inspection, Chahal was found to have overstepped by a considerable margin. The batsman could not believe his luck even as he started to focus on the task at hand.
Miller and Klaasen take the attack to India
As if to rub salt into India's wounds, Miller spanked Pandya for three successive boundaries. He asserted South Africa's position of strength by dispatching Kuldeep into the stands. With the wet outfield making the ball difficult to grip, both wrist-spinners struggled for control and bowled several loose deliveries.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Klaasen was getting himself acquainted to the situation. Taking a liking to Chahal, the wicket-keeper batsman plundered the leg-spinner for two boundaries and a massive six.
With the pressure now firmly on India to conjure something from the wreckage, Miller added to their woes by pulling a short delivery from Chahal high into the night sky. The leg-spinner bounced back in the next delivery by trapping the left-hander in front. However, the damage had already been done.
South Africa required just 26 runs from the last four overs. Andile Phehlukwayo killed the contest in a blaze of sixes. For his unbeaten 27-ball 43, Klaasen was named the Player of the Match. If India do not go on to win either of the next two matches, they could find themselves ruing the costly no-ball and the dropped catch preceding it.