South Africa trounce India to seal maiden series victory in India
South Africa 438-4 (du Plessis 133) beat
India 224 (Rahane 87) by 214 runs
Fifth One-Day International, Mumbai
An overwhelmingly powerful all-round performance from South Africa trounced India by 214 runs in the fifth One-Day International in Mumbai, handing them their maiden bilateral series victory against the hosts in India.
At first it was the trio of Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers who hit stunning hundreds to set up a mammoth total.
The belligerent batting performance was followed by some inspired bowling from Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn which handed the hosts their heaviest defeat at home.
South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first on what looked like another flat track.
India went with unchanged line-up while South Africa replaced Aaron Phangiso and Chris Morris with Kyle Abbott and Dean Elgar.
Hashim Amla (23) looked dangerous as he scored five boundaries inside the first four overs. In the process, he crossed the 6,000 run mark in ODIs, the fastest to do so (in 123 innings).
However, Mohit Sharma (1-84) produced a beauty inducing the edge of Amla, caught by Mahendra Singh Dhoni giving India the first wicket. South Africa were 33 for one in four overs.
De Kock (103) plundered two boundaries in the sixth over while du Plessis (133 retired hurt) scored two more in the eighth as South Africa reached 73 for one in the powerplay.
The introduction of spin slowed things a bit with Harbhajan Singh (1-70) bowling beautifully conceding just 15 runs in his first four overs. De Kock got stuck into Axar Patel (0-65) hitting him for two boundaries in the 12th over to bring the momentum back.
The 22-year-old brought up his fifty in 42 deliveries. He had managed 10 boundaries in it already.
De Kock had a reprieve when Mohit at mid-off misjudged a catch of Amit Mishra (0-78). He was on 58 at that stage.
The South African wicket-keeper batsman brought up the 100-run stand with du Plessis with a couple of boundaries in the 19th over and backed it with another couple more in the next over as South Africa moved to 142 for one in 20 overs.
De Kock reached his fifth hundred against India with a six and a boundary followed by a single in the 23rd over bowled by Sharma. Du Plessis completed his fourth fifty of the series, taking 62 balls.
A tiring de Kock eventually found the long-off fielder off Suresh Raina (1-19) ending his 87-ball knock and the 154-run stand with du Plessis.
After a slight lull, South Africa once again took off as de Villiers (119) combined with du Plessis to build a mammoth 211-run partnership for the third wicket.
The pair plundered 54 runs between overs 36 and 40 as South Africa reached 294 for two with 10 overs left in the innings. The South African ODI captain brought up his fifty in 34 balls.
Du Plessis brought up his hundred in the 42nd over, taking 105 balls to complete the landmark. By then, du Plessis was suffering from muscle cramps due to the weather conditions.
The 43rd over fetched 24 runs for South Africa as du Plessis smacked Patel for three sixes and a boundary, battling intense cramps. Eleven more runs came off the 44th over, by the end of which du Plessis had retired hurt.
Between overs 41 and 45, South Africa scored 73 runs and de Villiers’ hundred came off just 57 balls, his third fastest in ODIs.
After hitting two sixes in the 47th over, de Villiers edged a short ball to the keeper in an attempt to pull, giving his wicket to Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-106).
Raina dropped Farhaan Behardien (16) on the stroke of South Africa reaching the 400-run mark.
Behardien and David Miller (22 not out) played useful cameos to take South Africa’s total to 438 for four in 50 overs. India had conceded 144 runs in the last 10 overs.
Kumar, Sharma, Harbhajan and Raina picked up a wicket apiece for India with Kumar registering his worst figures by crossing the 100-run mark.
Facing a mammoth chase, India got underway with two boundaries from Rohit Sharma (16) in the first over.
He survived a run out attempt in the fourth over when the fielder missed a direct hit. Abbott (1-39) did snare his wicket, delivering the breakthrough for South Africa.
Rabada (4-41) accounted for Kohli (7), who edged a drive for de Kock to take a one-handed stunner behind the stumps. India managed to post 51 for two in the powerplay phase.
Ajinkya Rahane (87) and Shikhar Dhawan (60) gave hope for India with their 112-run stand for the third wicket as the duo scored at over seven runs an over in their partnership.
Dhawan received a reprieve when Miller shelled a catch at point. The boundaries came at regular intervals as Dhawan completed his half-century in 51 balls.
Rahane was the next as his own fifty came in just 41 balls, getting there with a splendid cover drive. The 27-year-old right hander hit two sixes in the 22nd over, and followed it up with two boundaries in the next over.
Dhawan’s attempted flick ended in the safe hands of Amla off Rabada, leaving India at 161 for three.
Amla injured himself while attempting the catch but managed to carry on.
After hitting a six and a four, Raina fell trying to flick one only for Rabada’s fiery yorker to flatten the stumps. At the halfway mark, India were at 172 for four.
The sheer pace of Steyn (3-38) saw the back of Rahane, who holed out to mid-wicket. Dhoni (27) was dropped by Elgar at covers.
Steyn got his second wicket as Patel (5) slapped one straight to Miller at point to leave India reeling at 195 for six. Steyn continued his blazing spell as Singh (0) chipped a tame catch to covers.
Imran Tahir (2-50) accounted for Kumar (1) and Dhoni while Rabada sealed the victory with the final wicket of Mishra (4) in the 36th over.
India were bundled out for 224 runs, succumbing to a 214-run loss – their worst margin of defeat at home.
With a margin of 3-2, South Africa claimed their first ever ODI series win against India.
De Kock was named as the man of the match for his hundred and his wonderful wicket-keeping while de Villiers was picked as the man of the series for scoring 358 runs from five matches.
© Cricket World 2015