Players came off twice for rain in Port Elizabeth before the game was called off with India struggling in its reply barring an unbeaten 87 from Kohli.
Proteas win rain-affected tie to level ODI series with India
PORT ELIZABETH // South Africa sent its seesaw series with India to a deciding match after a 48-run win on the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-affected fourth one-day international on Friday.
India was 142 for six in 32.5 overs chasing South Africa's 265 for seven when rain halted play for good at St George's Park, leaving the five-match series level at 2-2 ahead of a final game in Centurion on Sunday.
Virat Kohli was 87 not out for India but Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Robin Peterson took two wickets each to put South Africa on top before the weather intervened. Players came off twice for rain in Port Elizabeth before the game was called off with India struggling in its reply.
The winning total had been revised to 260 from 46 overs following the first rain delay but only eight more balls were possible before a second shower ended the match. India had slipped from 112-3 to 137-6 and well behind the South African run rate when the umpires ordered the covers on first time around.
Earlier, JP Duminy made 71 not out and shared consecutive half-century partnerships with Johan Botha, who made 44, and Peterson (31) to rescue the Proteas from trouble at 118-5 and set up their series-leveling victory. Opener Hashim Amla hit 64.
After a drawn test series, India's six-week tour of South Africa will end where it started, at Centurion's SuperSport Park.
"We're excited to go there," said South Africa captain Graeme Smith. "We've been landing blows for nearly two months now and it comes down to the last game of the tour. It's great for the game of cricket that it's been so competitive.
"It's a big game on Sunday. We needed to play well today. We had a few moments when our brains didn't work, but we managed to show a lot of determination and skill to get a good total. It was nice to get a win."
India trailed 1-0 in the ODI series before successive victories in Johannesburg and Cape Town. India has never won a one-day series over the Proteas in South Africa and is bidding to become only the third country to do it, after Australia and England.
"The deciding match will be interesting," India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said. "That's what the spectators want and that's what the team is looking forward to, a game filled with pressure.
"May the best team win. It will be the team which handles the pressure better."
The 22-year-old Kohli, who also took a catch and ran out two South Africans in the field, recorded a 12th half-century as India's other batsmen failed around him.
Kohli hit seven fours and two majestic straight sixes over long-off in his classy 92-ball innings. He was supported by 20 from Suresh Raina in a 63-run stand for the sixth wicket.
India lost Rohit Sharma with the score on 1 and then Parthiv Patel lbw to make it 32-2. Both openers were out to Tsotsobe, the left-arm seamer who finished with 2-25.
Yuvraj Singh sent a powerful pull for four off fast bowler Dale Steyn and then blasted a six from offpsinner Botha over long-on. But Botha hit back later the same over to have Yuvraj out to a diving catch by Smith.
Raina and Kohli rebuilt the innings before Raina was stumped by AB de Villiers off Peterson, who also dismissed Dhoni, as India lost 3-16 in three overs to fall away in its chase under floodlights in the day/night match.
Yusuf Pathan, India's match-winner in Cape Town, was out for 2 after feathering an outside edge from Morne Morkel through to De Villiers at wicketkeeper, leaving Kohli and Harbhajan Singh (3 not out) at the crease when the rain came.
Earlier, South Africa had been forced to overcome another sudden batting collapse, its third in three games, to eventually post a winning total and keep alive its hopes in the series.
The Proteas' recovery was centered on Duminy's 12th half-century - and second in two games for the left-hander - with supporting roles from Botha and Peterson. Duminy and Botha combined for a 70-run stand and Duminy and Peterson added 54.
Duminy batted through the best part of 30 overs after South Africa had slipped to 118-5. Under his guidance, the hosts went past 260 for the loss of just two more wickets to eventually set up the series-decider.
He reached a valuable half-century with a front-foot drive through extra cover for four and then struck the only six of the innings when he launched a length ball from Munaf Patel over midwicket in the last over. He finished on 71 not out from 72 balls.
H Amla run out (Kohli) 64
G Smith c Harbhajan b Nehra 18
M van Wyk c Kohli b Yuvraj 15
A de Villiers c Dhoni b Yuvraj 3
JP Duminy not out 71
F du Plessis run out (Kohli) 1
J Botha st Dhoni b Yuvraj 44
R Peterson run out (Pathan) 31
D Steyn not out 4
Extras (b-1 lb-1 w-10 nb-2) 14
Total (for seven wickets, 50 overs) 265
Fall of wickets: 1-57, 2-106, 3-111, 4-115, 5-118, 6-188, 7-242
Bowling: Zaheer 9-1-55-0, Munaf 8-1-49-0 (2nb), Nehra 6-0-27-1 (2w), Harbhajan 10-0-61-0 (4w), Yuvraj 8-0-34-3, Rohit 2-0-6-0, Raina 3-0-13-0, Pathan 4-0-18-0
R Sharma c Duminy b Tsotsobe 1
P Patel lbw b Tsotsobe 11
V Kohli not out 87
Yuvraj Singh c Smith b Botha 12
S Raina st De Villiers b Peterson 20
M Dhoni c Du Plessis b Peterson 2
Y Pathan c De Villiers b Morkel 2
Harbhajan Singh not out 3
Extras (lb-2 w-2) 4
Total (for six wickets, 32.5 overs) 142
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-32, 3-49, 4-112, 5-123, 6-128
Bowling: Steyn 4-0-15-0, Tsotsobe 6-1-25-2, Morkel 6-1-13-1 (w1), Botha 6.5-0-27-1, Peterson 8-0-46-2, Du Plessis 1-0-5-0 (w1), Duminy 1-0-9-0
South Africa won by 48 runs on D/L method