© AFP
© AFP

Virat Kohli became the fastest to 17,000 international runs. He, in fact, was also the fastest to 15,000 and 16,000 runs. If that is not enough, Kohli also became the first to score over 500 runs in a bilateral ODI series. He also surpassed AB de Villiers in the list of most ODI runs. Amidst all this, he reached his 35th ODI century, taking India to a comprehensive, 8-wicket win against South Africa in the sixth ODI and lifting the series 1-5.

When India had sealed the series at Port Elizabeth, they registered their maiden ODI series win in South Africa and dethroned them from the No. 1 spot. Kohli had mentioned that India will aim to win the series 1-5 and that there will be no mercy. And no mercy, it was. Shardul Thakur first throttled South Africa to 204 all-out with his four-wicket haul. Kohli then completed the humiliation with a force-of-habit knock. He was rightly awarded Player of the Series, in which he crossed 50 runs five out of six matches. The only time he didn’t, he was run out.

Kohli played an unusual innings. Yes, he was aggressive and full of intent, but the often-sprinting Kohli dealt in boundaries: 64 of his first 100 runs came in fours. There was nothing to lose, and Kohli made the most of it.

Khaya Zondo’s 54 was the only saving grace in South Africa’s innings. Andile Phelukwayo scored 34 in the end, but South Africa could not bat collectively well. Aiden Markram, AB de Villiers, and Heinrich Klaasen got starts, but the Indians were hell-bent on not letting the opposition cut loose. Thakur, who replaced Bhuvneshwar Kumar in this inconsequential match, finished with figures of 4 for 52. Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal took two wickets each.

India started off the chase positively. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan went bonkers, denting further South Africa’s spirits. However, South Africa heaved a sigh when Lungi Ngidi had Rohit caught behind. Ngidi soon Dhawan sent packing as well.

In came Ajinkya Rahane and helped his captain go all guns blazing. They added 126 runs for the third wicket.

Both teams will now lock horns in three-T20I series starting Sunday.

Brief scorecard:

South Africa 205 in 46.5 overs (Aiden Markram 24, Khaya Zondo 54; Shardul Thakur 4 for 52) lost to India 206 for 2in 32.1 overs (Virat Kohli 129*, Ajinkya Rahane 34*; Lungi Ngidi 2 for 54) by 8 wickets.

Full scorecard