India seal series 4-1
India seal series 4-1

Virat Kohli and his men created history in South Africa by guiding India to their first ever ODI series win in South Africa. Already leading 3-1, India thumped South Africa by 73 runs at Port Elizabeth to seal the series 4-1. It was Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav’s tactful bowling that outclassed Proteas’ patience, in particular Hashim Amla. Amla did resist India’s path to glory, making 71 runs, but could not save his side. India (9) with this series victory, have edged past Australia (8) in terms of most successive bilateral ODI series wins.

Aiden Markram and Amla batted with conviction from ball one. Amla started milking runs, while Markram took his time. Markram was lucky to survive after being dropped by Shreyas Iyer on 9. Both players added 50 runs in 9 overs despite good bowling.

As has been the norm in the series, the first powerplay did not go wicketless. Markram gave his wicket away to Jasprit Bumrah, handing a simple catch to Virat Kolhi at mid-off. The newly appointed T20I captain JP Duminy came at No.3, and survived a close call first up. His edge landed inches short of Dhoni’s gloves.

Duminy’s stay lasted just 4 balls, as he edged another one to Rohit Sharma at first-slip off Hardik Pandya. Pandya snatched the biggest wicket from the South African camp for 6: AB de Villiers gave a simple catch to Dhoni behind the wicket.

David Miller joined forces with Amla, steadying South Africa’s boat amidst rough waters. Yuzvendra Chahal spilled a rocket-like return catch by Miller.

They added 50 runs in 69 balls, with Miller doing bulk of the scoring.

Amla survived on 38 after Ajinkya Rahane spilled his catch at point. Chahal kept on sticking to a tight line against Miller. Miller danced down the pitch, and was beaten in the air. He went for 51-ball 36.

Hero from the Pink ODI, Heinrich Klaasen joined Amla, as the latter struck his 35th ODI half-century. They slowly sneaked in singles and doubles to keep the run-rate under check. As luck would have it, Amla was run out on 71 to a an incredible throw by Hardik Pandya from mid off.

Andile Phehlukwayo lasted just 3 balls before getting bowled by Kuldeep Yadav. Both Chahal and Kuldeep now had 13 wickets apiece, highest for any spinner in a bilateral ODI series in South Africa.

Klaasen kept on egging his side forward with a few hefty blows. He was supported well by Kagiso Rabada. Their 28-run stand was broken by Kuldeep Yadav, who got rid of Rabada. Yadav in the same over outfoxed Klaasen, getting him stumped for 39. With his four-wicket haul, Kuldeep in ODIs is second highest wicket-taker among Chinaman bowlers.

Chahal picked the final wicket of the match, trapping Morne Morkel for 1. South Africa’s innings folded on 201, with Lungi Ngidi remaining unbeaten on 4.

Earlier in the day, India put into bat managed 274 for 7. Out of the 274, 115 runs came off the bat of Rohit Sharma. Rohit did find support in Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni but could not add much to the total. Ngidi rocked India’s middle-order picking 4 wickets.

Brief scores:

India 274 for 7 (Rohit Sharma 115, Virat Kohli 36; Lungisani Ngidi 4 for 51) beat South Africa 201 all out in 42.2 overs (Hashim Amla 71, Heinrich Klaasen 39 ; Kuldeep Yadav 4 for 57 ) by 73 runs.