By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Dec 11, 2013
Quinton de Kock‘s third consecutive One-Day International (ODI) ton and AB de Villiers’s century helped South Africa post 301 for eight in the third One-Day International (ODI) against India at Centurion. While Ishant Sharma impressed with a good spell, de Villiers and de Kock stole the show as they rescued South Africa and lifted them to put up a strong total.
South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first. They opted to rest Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn, which would have been a huge relief for the Indians. Instead, Wayne Parnell and Imran Tahir came into the side. For India, Yuvraj Singh was fit again and he replaced Ajinkya Rahane.
The Indian bowlers started off very well as they did not allow the South African openers to get off and running. Hashim Amla looked good early on. However, Mohammed Shami bowled a full-toss on his body and he couldn’t keep it down. Yuvraj Singh completed the catch at square-leg.
Ishant, the man who became the Indian fans’ bête noire, was on song early on. He had Davids prodding at one outside the off-stump and was caught by Suresh Raina at second slip. JP Duminy then walked in at No 4 and was troubled by Ishant’s movement. He then edged one to second slip to be dismissed for naught. At the end of eighth over, South Africa were 28 for three. Skipper de Villiers joined the wonder-kid de Kock in the centre.
In tandem, they fought out a few tough moments and gradually started picking the scoring rate. Initially, they were slow and they were more interested in picking the singles. However, as the innings progressed, de Kock was the first one who found his attacking touch notwithstanding two dropped chances. Umesh Yadav had set the short fine-leg a little square and de Kock pulled it towards the man there. Rahane dived across to his left, but could not hold on. Later, Yuvraj Singh ran back as de Kock lofted Ravichandran Ashwin down the ground. Yuvraj got there, but fumbled.
Those missed chances were to haunt India as de Kock continued from where he left off at Durban, and should we say Johannesburg as well. He went on to complete his half-century off 71 balls. Meanwhile, de Villiers also started finding the boundaries as the partnership then moved past its century mark.
Another de Kock ton looked inevitable as he wasn’t going to give more chances. On 77, he picked Virat Kohli over mid-wicket to move into the 80s and a couple of overs later, he hit another maximum off the same bowler to move to 98. Even de Villiers started clearing the boundaries, pulling anything short and lofting anything full. He also swept Ashwin for six when the opportunity presented itself.
Ultimately, de Kock did get his ton when he pushed Mohammed Shami for a single in the 37th over. It took him 116 balls to achieve the mark. As soon as he got his ton, de Villiers pulled Shami over mid-wicket for six and then lofted him over the covers for another. The South African charge had well and truly begun.
The focus then shifted to de Villiers as he got closer to his 16th ODI ton. Ashwin was hit for a six over covers as de Villiers moved to 99. He then got to his milestone in the next over, 42nd, and it took him only 86 balls. Yadav then trapped him leg-before for 101, but by then South Africa were well placed for a charge at the end.
David Miller smacked the bowling to all parts in the last few overs and pushed South Africa’s total to . He got to his fifty in only 32 balls as he smashed five four and three sixes. Ishant did get more wickets towards the end and finished with figures of four for 40, his second-best in ODIs.
South Africa 301 for 8 in 50 overs (Quinton de Kock 101, AB de Villiers 109, David Miller 56; Ishant Sharma 4 for 40) vs India
South Africa vs India — Live on Ten Cricket
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