Kagiso Rabada gets a fine and demerit point for Shikhar Dhawan send-off

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South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada was fined 15 per cent of his match fee and handed one demerit point for the send-off he gave India batsman Shikhar Dhawan during the fifth ODI in Port Elizabeth.

Rabada was found guilty of a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct. The incident happened in the eighth over of India’s innings when Rabada, after dismissing Dhawan, waved at the departing batsman and pointed to the dressing room. Dhawan made 34 as India won the match by 73-runs to take a winning 4-1 lead in the ODI series.

According to an ICC press release, Rabada “also made a comment which could have resulted in a reaction from the batsman.”

The South African quick now has five demerit points on his record after receiving three demerit points against Sri Lanka in an ODI in February last year and one during the Lord’s Test in July.

At that point, Rabada was suspended from the Trent Bridge Test against England after his accumulated points reached four following the Lord’s incident. After the latest error, Rabada is on thin ice as he faces more time away from the field if he is found guilty again.

The ICC statement added: “If Rabada reaches the next threshold of eight or more demerit points within a 24-month period, he will be suspended again from either two Tests; one Test and two ODIs/T20Is; or four ODIs/T20Is, whichever comes first for the player.”

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India's next target is top spot in all three formats at the same time

Sudhir Gupta 14/02/2018
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India defeated South Africa convincingly in the fifth match of the ODI series in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday to not only secure their first ever bilateral series win in the rainbow nation but also climb to the top of the ODI rankings table.

India took their points tally to 122 in ODI rankings after their comfortable 73-run win against the Proteas – the side they overtook to reach the top spot.

Virat Kohli’s side, already the top-ranked Test team in the world, are currently placed third in the T20 rankings and are five points behind table toppers Pakistan who have 126. While that is a massive gap which is unlikely to be covered in the three-match T20 series against South Africa which follows the ODI clash, Kohli’s men can realistically hope to go for the top spot in T20s as well sometime this year. However, New Zealand (122 points) and Australia (121) are currently fighting it out in a T20 tri-series and will also be vying for the top spot with India.

South Africa were the first side to be crowned the No1 side in all three formats at the same time. They managed the feat in 2012. And if India continue their fine form in all formats, they can hope to emulate the Proteas.

Earlier, India’s series clinching win was set up by Rohit Sharma who ended his barren run in South Africa with a fine century.

The opener had failed to pass fifty in four Tests and as many ODI innings while he was arguably the guilty party as both prolific captain Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were run out after India were inserted in to bat.

But Rohit was able to underpin India’s 274-7, taking advantage of being dropped on 96 to bring up three figures for the first time in any format on South African soil, as he posted 11 fours and four sixes in his 115 from 126 deliveries.

In the chase, three quick wickets tilted the balance in India’s favour and South Africa’s hopes of closing the gap in the series to 3-2 seemed to dissipate when Amla was run out after a becalmed 71 from 92 balls.

Kuldeep Yadav took three wickets in four balls as the Proteas were all out for 201 in 42.2 overs to lose by 73 runs, leaving India to celebrate an unassailable 4-1 lead and their first ODI series victory in South Africa.

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India opener Rohit Sharma's recipe for success: run Virat Kohli out

Sudhir Gupta 13/02/2018
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Some players have a great mutual understanding between them, especially when it comes to running between the wickets. They automatically understand their partner’s body language and signals. It’s safe to say Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli don’t fall in that category.

Tuesday’s run out during India’s ODI against South Africa in Port Elizabeth was the seventh occasion Rohit and Kohli have been involved in a run out. That’s the second worst record by any pair in ODIs in the last decade behind the South African duo of AB de Villiers-Faf du Plessis and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan who have been involved in eight apiece.

Out of those seven instances, Kohli has been forced to walk back to the pavilion on five occasions with the fifth being Tuesday’s ODI.

While the run outs have proven costly for Kohli, they have been extremely lucky, in a way, for Rohit.

The India opener has cashed in every time he has run Kohli out in ODIs. The first time Rohit ran Kohli out, the Mumbai batsman ended up making 57 against the West Indies in Kingston in 2011. Two years later, another mix-up ended on a good note for Rohit as he smashed 209 against Australia in Bengaluru. History repeated itself in 2014 as Rohit ran Kohli out against Sri Lanka in Kolkata and went on to become the only player in history to score two ODI double tons with his knock of 264.

In 2016 against the Aussies in Brisbane, Rohit scored 124 after running the current skipper out and the ‘lucky’ trend continued in South Africa on Tuesday where the Mumbai opener hit the 17th century of his ODI career with a classy 115.

So in the future if Rohit is ever out of form, needs to score big and finds Kohli at the other end, he knows what to do.

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