CENTURIAN: Virat Kohli ensured India will have some share of the silverware as he took them to unassailable 3-0 lead in the ODI series. Kohli scored his second century in three matches, his third on India’s tour of South Africa and more than half India’s total of 303 before his bowlers did the rest, or should that be wrist ?
South Africa ‘s line-up, riddled with inexperience, was again spun out by Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. With eight wickets between them, the pair took their series tally to 21. They have claimed but all but seven of the South African wickets across three matches. Their wickets at Newlands came at a cost just 69 runs, and through the series, they have conceded 190 runs and taken their wickets at an average of 9.05. The hosts had serious problems, which started when they decided to bowl first on a surface where everything screams bat. Perhaps, it was the knowledge that India fancy themselves to chase just about anything and the ghosts of their previous two batting performances still swirling. But South Africa decided to save their weaker suit upfront and were witness to a Kohli masterclass instead, but not before they had an opportunity to dismiss him for a duck.
After Kagiso Rabada removed Rohit Sharma in the opening over, he had Kohli given out lbw off the third ball of his second over but the India captain reviewed. Replays showed Kohli had hit the ball as he attempted a flick. The on-field decision was overturned and so were South Africa ‘s fortunes.
At the other end, debutant Lungi Ngidi struggled to pull his length back and India’s batsmen capitalised. The visitors reached 50 in 10 overs with 40 via boundaries.
Andile Phehluwayo’s opening over, full but wider outside off than Ngidi had been, promised to plug the flow of runs, but he lost his line after that. Morris tried the short ball but with Dhawan well set, only drinks could stop the runs momentarily. India were 87 for 1 after 16 overs.
Imran Tahir was introduced after the interval but Dhawan swept his second ball to the deep square leg boundary to bring up his fifty off 42 balls. Dhawan then swiped the fifth ball to the midwicket boundary to put Tahir under further pressure. Ngidi’s second spell went significantly worse than his opening one. His first four overs cost 29 runs and his next two 18 to leave Aiden Markram with no choice but to turn to JP Duminy.