Port Elizabeth, Jan 22 (IANS) India lost to South Africa by 48 runs through Duckworth and Lewis (D/L) method in the rain-interrupted fourth one day international here Friday, with the five-match series now levelled 2-2.
India were 137 for six in 31.3 overs and needed another 129 runs for victory when rain stopped play. At resumption, the revised target required India to make 123 runs off 87 balls. But barely eight balls were bowled when the skies opened up again. Play could not be resumed and South Africa were declared the winners.
India after taking a 2-1 lead at Cape Town, were eyeing their first one-day series win in South Africa. The decider will be played Sunday at Centurion.
Indian batting floundered in reply to South Africa's 265 for seven, with the visitors were at 118 for five in 28.4 overs. Virat Kohli (87 n.o., 92b, 7x4, 2x6) was the lone bright spot in the batting and missed out on what would have been a well-deserved century.
The Indian openers, Rohit Sharma and Parthiv Patel, failed to give India a solid start and were back in the hut with 32 runs on board. Both were dismissed by Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Rohit was caught by J.P. Duminy while Patel, who flew in as a replacement for injured Sachin Tendulkar, was caught leg before.
India soon slumped to 49 for three when Yuvraj Singh top-edged an attempted paddle-sweep and was caught by Graeme Smith who ran from first slip to dive a catch at backward short-leg. The 63-run stand between Kohli and Suresh Raina (20) gave visitors a brief reprieve before the latter was stumped by a Robin Peterson delivery.
The quick dismissal of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan then evaporated India's hope.
Earlier, Duminy struck 71 and raised vital partnerships with the lower to propell South Africa to a challenging total.
South Africa were reeling at 113 for 5, before Duminy and Johan Botha (44) scored 70 runs to rescue the hosts. Duminy and Robin Peterson (31) then added another 54 runs to put up a challenging score.
South Africa, after electing to bat, were off to a strong start with Hashim Amla (64) and captain Smith (18) scoring 57 runs for the first wicket. But then India came back with part-time spinner Yuvraj taking three wickets.
Ashish Nehra got the breakthrough when he had Smith caught by Harbhajan Singh at mid-off.
Amla then added 49 runs with Morne Van Wyk (15) before the latter fell to Yuvraj. Amla's fluent knock, that included eight fours, was cut short as he was run out.
South Africa soon lost A.B. de Villiers and Faf du Plessis before Duminy and Botha joined forces to do the recovery job.
Left-handed Duminy hit two fours and one six in his 72-ball knock while Botha and Peterson struck three fours each to accelerate in the slog overs.