Vastavam web: Skipper Virat Kohli produced yet another masterclass knock before wrist-spinners came to the party to hand India a massive 124-run win in the third ODI against South Africa here, giving the visitors an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.Last night’s win, thus, took India one step closer to a maiden series triumph in South Africa.Kohli has been simply unstoppable in the 50-over format of late and today’s match-winning effort was his fourth three-figure score in the last six ODIs. It was also his second hundred of the series and third of the tour.
While most Indian batsmen struggled after South Africa opted to bowl, Kohli made batting look easy. Shikhar Dhawan too stood out with a fluent 76 off 63 balls.But most of their runs came against the pacers and when Indian spinners got into the act, it was a familiar story as South Africa surrendered to Yuzvendra Chahal (4/46) and Kuldeep Yadav (4/23) to end way behind at 170 all out in 40 overs.
The South African batsmen failed to pick India’s wily wrist-spinners, as was the case in the first two ODIs.The slide began with the fall of Markram, who was stumped by MS Dhoni after getting beaten by a flighted delivery from Yadav.Earlier, Kohli scored the highest individual score by an Indian batsman against South Africa in South Africa, going past Sourav Ganguly s 127 at Johannesburg in 2001. It was also Kohli s second-highest ODI score after 183 against Pakistan in 2012.
Such was the nature of his innings that he scored only 60 runs through boundaries while he had to run hard for the remaining 100. In total, he collected 12 fours and two sixes.He also became the first Indian batsman to score a hundred against South Africa at Newlands. Only Ganguly previously had an ODI century at this ground, but that came against Kenya in March 2003.Kohli, with 318 runs in this series so far, now also has the most runs for a visiting batsman in a bilateral ODI series against South Africa in South Africa. Ricky Ponting, with 283 runs in 2001-02, was the previous best.In terms of balls faced, it was the joint-slowest hundred for Kohli, after he faced 119 balls against Pakistan at Adelaide in 2015. But in doing so, Kohli put on 140 runs with Dhawan for the second wicket.
The Proteas made three changes to their playing eleven after the Centurion defeat. Lungi Ngidi and Heinrich Klaasen were handed their ODI debuts and came in for Morne Morkel and injured Quinton de Kock, respectively.Kohli (on 0*) survived an early lbw shout off Kagiso Rabada (1-54) in the third over. He immediately asked for DRS review, which showed an inside edge and the decision was overturned.Dhawan and Kohli then came together, and piled on the runs, almost continuing from where they had left off in the previous match.
Momentarily though, India s run-rate dipped below 5/over as Chris Morris (1-45) exerted some control over proceedings.In the meantime, Dhawan scored his 25th ODI half-century off 42 balls and took his team past 100 in the 18th over.JP Duminy (2-60) then provided the breakthrough. In fact, it was stand-in skipper Markram who did all the hard work and took a stunning diving catch to dismiss Dhawan who had danced down to the part-timer.South Africa then triggered a mini-collapse in the middle order as India lost three wickets for 48 runs.MS Dhoni (10) then stemmed the down-curve and added 40 runs with Kohli.