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India create history with series win over South Africa

Rohit Sharma scored his maiden century in South Africa
Rohit Sharma scored his maiden century in South Africa

India 274-7 (Rohit 115) beat
South Africa 201 (Amla 71) by 73 runs
Fifth One-Day International in Port Elizabeth

Rohit Sharma slammed his maiden century in South Africa while Kuldeep Yadav followed it with a four-wicket haul as India went on to defeat Proteas by 73 runs in the fourth One-Day International in Port Elizabeth to register a 4-1 series victory.

This is also India's first ODI series win in South Africa after failing to conquer them in the previous tours in 1992, 2006, 2011 and 2013.

South Africa won the toss and decided to bowl first. Shikhar Dhawan (34) and Rohit (115) got off to a cautious start scoring just five runs in the first three overs before the boundaries started to flow.

Dhawan smashed six boundaries in the next four overs while Rohit too smashed Kagiso Rabada (1-58) with a six down the ground as India raced to 43 for naught in the first seven overs.

Rabada though bounce back strong when he had Dhawan caught at deep square leg, bringing an end to a 48-run opening stand as India reached 61 for one in the first powerplay.

Rohit when he crossed 33 runs, recorded his highest score in ODIs in South Africa and he brought the 50-run stand with Virat Kohli (36) off 53 deliveries. JP Duminy (0-29) was welcomed by back to back boundaries from Rohit as he completed his 35th ODI fifty and in the 23rd over, Kohli survived a stumping chance with the third umpire giving the benefit of doubt to the batsman.

At the halfway mark, India were placed 148 for one. However, things went down south for the visitors when an indecision in running led to the run out of Kohli, bringing an end to a 105-run stand for the second wicket.

The trend continued as Ajinkya Rahane (8) was run out when Rohit sent him back and India were put in a spot of bother. In the 33rd over, Rohit survived a review from South Africa for caught behind and in the next over, he was dropped by Tabraiz Shamsi (0-48).

The reprieves allowed Rohit to complete his 17th ODI century - his first in the rainbow nation but Lungi Ngidi (4-51) helped South Africa stage a tremendous comeback as he claimed four wickets in the end which allowed India to get just 55 runs. India were restricted to 274 for seven in the 50 overs.

In the chase, Aiden Markram (32) made most of his dropped chance by Shreyas Iyer as he contributed 32 out of the 50-run opening stand with Hashim Amla (71).

Jasprit Bumrah (1-22) provided the breakthrough when he had Markram caught at mid off but their chances took a severe beating when Hardik Pandya (2-30) accounted for both Duminy (1) and AB de Villiers (6) cheaply.

David Miller (36) played positively and with Amla solid at the other end, the duo consolidated with a 72-run stand and by the halfway mark, South Africa were placed 119 for three.

Amla enjoyed a life when Rahane dropped him in the 26th over but Yuzvendra Chahal (2-43) managed to castle Miller at the other end. Heinrich Klaasen (39) provided brief support but they soon lost momentum when Amla was run out brilliantly by Pandya.

That pretty much opened the floodgates for South Africa as Kuldeep Yadav (4-57) cleaned up the lower order with a four-wicket haul to wrap up the innings for 201. The 73-run victory has allowed India to take a 5-1 lead in the series with a game to go.

Rohit was awarded the man of the match for his century that set up India's victory.

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