India vs South Africa | Visitors secure historic series win in style

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India vs South Africa | Visitors secure historic series win in style

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SportsCafe Desk


Rohit Sharma’s classy century on a tricky surface saw India post a competitive total of 274 while batting first, which was enough to secure their first ever series win against the Proteas. South Africa, however, kept losing wickets at regular intervals to concede the series with a game to play.

Brief Scores : India 274/7 (Rohit Sharma 115, Virat Kohli 36; Lungi Ngidi 4/51, Kagiso Rabada 1/58) beat South Africa 201 (Hashim Amla 71, Heinrich Klaasen 39; Kuldeep Yadav 4/57, Hardik Pandya 2/30) by 73 runs.

South Africa won the all-important toss and Aiden Markram didn’t skip a beat before announcing that he would like to bowl first on the wicket. He also revealed that Chris Morris had a stiff back which meant that Tabraiz Shamsi would be replacing him for the game. Virat Kohli also admitted that he would have liked to bowl first on the surface but was quite happy to bat first as well while announcing that he had retained the same lineup from the last game. 

Rohit finally comes good on SA tour

After a maiden to start the innings, it was Shikhar Dhawan who got India started on the day as he targeted Kagiso Rabada with three boundaries in two overs. That gave Rohit Sharma, who had been struggling in the series thus far, some confidence and he hit the Proteas bowler for a huge six to get into the flow of things. Riding on the confidence of his century in the previous game, Dhawan hit Morkel for three boundaries in the seventh over before a mistimed pull shot found Andile Phehlukwayo at deep square leg. The incoming Kohli consolidated the innings and guided the side to 90/1 by the end of the 15th over. The fifty run partnership was quickly followed up with Rohit’s first fifty in the series but as South Africa introduced the spinners, the singles began to dry up. However, with runs coming in boundaries, India managed to reach an over par score of 148/1 in 25 overs on a pitch that averaged just 255 in all ODI matches.

Running between wickets cost India 300-plus score

On the third ball of the 26th over, disaster struck for India as Kohli’s over eager nature got the better of him as he was run out by JP Duminy. Seven overs later, it was the same result as Rahane was sent packing after he found himself virtually right next to Rohit, who refused to go for the single. From a comfortable position, India suddenly found themselves 180/3 with 32 overs done. Rohit appeared to be headed for his first century on South African soil and it was confirmed after he was dropped for 96 by Shamsi at third man. After completing his century, it wasn’t a normal Rohit innings as he was struggling to score at his usual rapid pace. Ngidi came as the hero for the hosts as not only did he get rid of Rohit, he also sent Hardik Pandya back on consecutive balls before getting rid of Shreyas Iyer in the next over. MS Dhoni failed to reproduce his performance from the previous match and was dismissed for a 28-ball 13 in the penultimate over. Eventually, the visitors could only manage 126 runs in the second to finish with 274/7.

South African top order crumble after strong start

With a competitive 275 runs on the board, both Markram and Hashim Amla knew they needn’t try anything adventurous at all. Less pressure saw the duo start the innings on a positive note as they traded singles at regular intervals with a boundary each in the first three overs. As the overs passed by, the singles converted into doubles and sometimes even triples as South Africa reached the 50-run mark in just the ninth over. While Markram took on the role of the hitter, Amla played along. However, the flawless partnership soon came to an end when the hasty skipper gave away his catch to Kohli at mid-off off Jasprit Bumrah’s delivery. And as has often been the case with SA in the series so far, Markram’s wicket was followed by two big dismissals, JP Duminy and AB de Villiers, in the next 13 runs that reduced the hosts to 65/3 in 13 overs. David Miller came next to steer the ship to safety alongside Amla as their 54-run partnership saw the Proteas finish the half-way line at 115/3.

South Africa crumble in the face of wrist spin, again

Just when the partnership between Amla and Miller looked dangerous, Chahal scalped his wicket in the 26th over as the southpaw completely failed to read the Indian’s delivery. Amla brought up his fifty three overs later, but it could amount to nothing as wickets kept falling at the other end. South Africa needed another steady partnership and last match’s hero, Heinrich Klaasen gave a slight ray of hope coming next as he forged a 41-run stand with Amla. However, the Proteas’ only ray of hope, Amla, soon made way to the dressing room when sharp move by Hardik Pandya on the field, who caught Amla just short of his crease. After his wicket, it was just a matter of time before the rest followed suit and Andile Phehlukwayo went for a duck in the very next over, reducing South Africa to 168/6. Chris Morris’ absence was desperately felt as South Africa were all out of regular batsman. Though Rabada showed some resilience, the Proteas stood no chance against Kuldeep Yadav, whose wrist spin took the next three wickets to wrap up the hosts for a paltry 201 runs as India sealed the six-match series 4-1.

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