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De Kock, Morkel flatten India as South Africa seize lead

De Kock, Morkel flatten India as South Africa seize lead
Morne Morkel registered a four-wicket haul as South Africa defeated India by 18 runs in the third ODI.
©REUTERS / Action Images

South Africa 270-7 (de Kock 103) beat
India 252-6 (Kohli 77) by 18 runs
Third One Day International in Rajkot

Riding on the back of a composed century from Quinton de Kock and a four-wicket haul from Morne Morkel, South Africa defeated India in the third One-Day International in Rajkot to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. 

South Africa won the toss and chose to bat on what was a hot day. The visitors fielded an unchanged team while India replaced Umesh Yadav with Amit Mishra.

South Africa opted to open with David Miller (33) and de Kock (103). The duo raced off to a rapid start. De Kock hit four boundaries and a six in the powerplay while Miller struck three fours.

South Africa reached 59 for naught in the first 10 overs. Harbhajan Singh (1-41) provided the breakthrough for India when Miller sliced a catch to backward point.

Amit Mishra (1-38) continued his dominance against Hashim Amla (5), who was out stumped. South Africa were 87 for two at this stage.

De Kock completed his fifty, achieving the landmark in 61 balls. Just past the half-way mark, Faf du Plessis (60) was caught at long on. But the decision was reversed as Mohit Sharma (2-62) over-stepped.

Du Plessis received another life when Suresh Raina (0-13) dropped him at backward point. India continued to leak boundaries, allowing South Africa to score at over five runs an over.

Du Plessis notched his third fifty of the series in the 34th over. India were once again guilty of giving du Plessis a reprieve when Shikhar Dhawan shelled a hard chance at cover.

Meanwhile, de Kock brought up his fourth ODI hundred against India with a powerful cover drive.

The luck ran out of du Plessis eventually as Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-65) caught him at third man off Mohit, while attempting a scoop shot.

India got the prised wicket of de Kock who was caught short of the crease, courtesy of an accurate throw from Dhawan. With 10 overs left in the game, South Africa were positioned at 210 for four.

AB de Villiers (4) fell cheaply to Axar Patel (1-51), who trapped him leg before. India’s woeful day in the field continued when MS Dhoni put down a catch off JP Duminy (14).

The left-hander was eventually caught at long on off the bowling of Mohit. Despite India pulling the scoring rate back in the death overs, South Africa plundered 23 runs off the final two overs to post 270 for seven.

Mishra was the stand out bowler with an economy of 3.80 and a wicket to his name. Mohit bagged two wickets while Singh and Patel snared one each.

India got off to fairly sedate start with the bat. Dhawan (13) hit two boundaries in the sixth over and survived a run out chance, which was shelled by South Africa.

The visitors also had their share of mishaps with Dhawan being dropped twice in the eighth over. India managed 40 for naught in the powerplay.

In the very next over, Dhawan was dismissed by Morkel (4-39) after he edged one to de Villiers behind the stumps.

Rohit Sharma (65) brought up his well-paced half-century with a massive six over long off. However, he soon fell to Duminy (1-46), who pouched a good return catch to leave India at 113 for two.

Dhoni (47) promoted himself up to number four. He and Virat Kohli (77) were busy in their 80-run partnership by rotating the strike regularly while putting the odd ball away to the boundary.

South Africa managed to tie down the scoring rate towards the latter part of the innings as India only managed to hit two boundaries between overs 31 and 40.

Needing 86 runs from the last 10 overs, India succumbed to pressure as Dhoni picked Dale Steyn (0-65) at short third man off Morkel.

Raina’s (0) short stay was brought to a swift end when he took on Imran Tahir (1-51) only to be caught at long off.

India were on the back foot at 206 for four, with the required rate having reached double figures.

Morkel erased any last hope for India when he dismissed Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane (4), both of whom were caught by Miller at deep mid-wicket.

The equation of 55 runs from 28 balls proved to be a tough ask for Singh (20 not out) and Patel (15 not out) as India succumbed to an 18 run defeat after scoring only 252 from 50 overs.

With four wickets to his name, Morkel was the star bowler for South Africa, also fetching the man of the match award.

India and South Africa will now head to Chennai where the fourth ODI will get underway on 22nd October.

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