Third ODI: Kohli ton powers India to 303/6 in 50 overs

Tricia Pearson
February 8, 2018

South Africa won the toss and chose to bowl first.

For South Africa, Duminy took two wickets while Rabada, Morris, Tahir and Andile Phehlukwayo chipped in with one wicket apiece.

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. For the first time, India has defeated South Africa for three consecutive ODIs in South Africa. Smriti Mandhana, who was adjudged Player of the Match in the first game, hit a sparkling century and she now becomes the first Indian woman opener to score three ODI hundreds.

South Africa had won 17 straight ODI games at home before India arrived, but one more win from India in the last three ODIs will ensure it leaves South Africa No. 1 in tests and ODIs, a fair consolation after losing a close test series 2-1. South Africa has won 28 of its 33 ODI matches at the Newlands. He is also only the fifth batsman overall to score more than one century in a bilateral series against South Africa. Markram who survived against Chahal, became Kuldeep Yadav's victim in his first over.

Kohli said yesterday's hundred was special in the sense that he had to continuously change his game through the innings. Rohit scored (20) in the first match, while he got out on (15) in the Second ODI. Anchoring the innings with an unbeaten knock in hot conditions, Kohli guided India's total to 303/6. Oddly enough, quite a few South African bowlers used off cutters as the ball seemed to stop before coming onto the bat, indicating that the wrist-spinners will once come into play. The previous best was Ricky Ponting's tally of 283 runs in 2001-02.

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Already 0-2 down, the hosts have brought in pace sensation Lungi Ngidi and wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen in place of chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi and injured Quinton de Kock.

In fact, when Duminy and skipper Aiden Markram (32) were at the crease putting together a partnership of 78 runs for the second wicket, there was actually a glimmer of hope filtering through the famed old ground.

There was also brute force, with Kohli particularly enjoying a sweet pull shot off Kagiso Rabada's penultimate ball that sailed into the Railway Stand. Kohli played an innings for the ages at Newlands. He stole 75 singles, 11 doubles and one triple and earned himself a distinction of becoming the first Indian batsman to score 100 runs by running in an ODI.

Just when the Indian pair started looking invincible, part-time off-spinner Jean Paul Duminy came to the rescue of the hosts with the crucial wicket of Dhawan, who chipped wide off midwicket only to be latched on by stand-in captain Aiden Markram.

The skipper then found a stable partner in Bhuvneshwar Kumar (16 not out) and the duo added 63 runs off only 43 balls for the seventh wicket.

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