Virat Kohli scored his 34th ODI hundred © AFP
Virat Kohli scored his 34th ODI hundred © AFP

Asked to bat first, Virat Kohli  led from the front as India managed to put up 303 runs on board in the third One-Day International against South Africa. Despite a good stand between Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, India suffered a batting collapse with JP Duminy being the surprise package. Duminy along with Chris Morris chocked India’s batting in the middle overs, but Kohli kept his side on course a big total. In the process Kohli also registered his highest score against South Africa.

Kagiso Radaba came out all fired-up against Rohit Sharma and produced instant result. Trying to leave the ball, Sharma managed a bottom edge to the keeper’ for a naught in the first over. Joined in the middle by Kohli, Dhawan welcomed Lungi Ngidi to ODI cricket with a scintillating boundary. Fuelled by Sharma’s wicket, Rabada continued make life tough for Kohli in the middle, nearly getting him leg-before, but for DRS.

As things slowly settled down, both batsmen played Rababa and Ngidi with relative ease. Chris Morris and Andile Phelukwayo were called onto bowl but leaked runs. The pair added 50 runs in 56 balls.

Dhawan playing his 99th ODI, reached his 25th half-century in 42 deliveries. Interestingly, the pair recorded India’s 100th-run on the 100th ball of the innings.

Kohli followed suit, reaching his 46th fifty in 66 deliveries. It took a flying Aiden Markram to get rid of Dhawan. Dhawan trying to play across the line, handed JP Duminy his wicket on 66.

Ajinkya Rahane fell for 11 trying to hit Duminy over his head, much to Kohli’s anguish. Hardik Pandya was promoted ahead of MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav to launch an attack on the spinners. Sadly, he perished playing a loose shot for 14.

Dhoni came out in the middle with 17 overs to go. Kohli reached his 34th hundred  in 119-balls with 10 overs remaining in the innings. Dhoni could not work his magic in the final overs, falling for 10 trying to hit Tahir over long off. In his first outing of the series, Kedar Jadhav fell for 1 to Phelukwayo. Bhuvneshwar Kumar alongside Kohli added 50 runs in 40 with the latter doing most of the scoring.

Kohli continued to milk runs, recording his second 150+ score in ODIs. The innings also included his 100th ODI six. Kohli remained unbeaten on 160* along Kumar, who was not out on 16 as India’s innings closed on 303 for 6.

It must be also noted that no team has ever chased more than 250 at Cape Town in a day-night ODI.

Earlier, South Africa handed debut ODI caps to Ngidi and Klaasen, who came in for Morne Morkel and Quinton de Kock. Andile Phelukvayo replaced Tabreiz Shamsi in the playing XI from the last ODI.

Brief Scores:

India 303 for 6 (Virat Kohli 160*, Shikhar Dhawan 76; JP Duminy 2 for 60) vs South Africa