India beat South Africa by 73 runs to claim historic away series triumph

Yuzvendra Chahal of India celebrates.
Yuzvendra Chahal of India celebrates.
Image: GALLO IMAGES

Virat Kohli’s Indian team claimed a historic away series victory when they beat South Africa by 73 runs in the 5th Momentum one-day international at St George’s Park on Tuesday.

Set 275 for victory‚ South Africa‚ at various times early on in their chase‚ looked on course to keep the series alive but eventually succumbed to the pressure exerted by Kohli’s disciplined outfit to be bowled out for 201 in the 43rd over.

As a result of the win‚ Kohli became the first Indian captain to beat South Africa in this format of the game in this country and the visitors have an unassailable 4-1 lead with one match to play.

His team now head to Centurion looking to inflict more pain on the beleaguered Proteas in the final match on Friday.

Hashim Amla scored a trademark 71 at the top of the order for South Africa and opening partner and captain Aiden Markram looked good for his run-a-ball 32.

David Miller also threatened with 36 until he ran past one from wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and was bowled.

Even when Miller had removed himself from the scene‚ there was still hope with Amla and Heinrich Klaasen at the crease and the total on 127 for four in the 27th over.

Amla‚ however‚ was run out from a direct hit by Hardik Pandya and Andile Phehlukwayo (0) was bowled by the other wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav to leave Klaasen running out of partners.

Klaasen‚ who continues to look the part at international level‚ was good value for his 39 while spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the best of the Indian bowlers with four for 57.

Earlier‚ fast bowler Lungi Ngidi took a career-best four for 51 as Rohit Sharma finally got going for India scoring a superb 115 as the tourists posted 274 for seven.

South Africa came into the game looking to strike early but the first wicket only came in the eighth over when Kagiso Rabada dismissed one of the dangermen Shikhar Dhawan with the total on 48.

After that India looked well set to go way past the 300-mark with Rohit impressive after only managing 40 runs in his previous four innings in the series.

He favoured the cut shot in particularly but also scored in other areas in his 126-ball innings.

He struck 11 fours and four sixes but was eventually out caught by wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen off the bowling of Ngidi‚ who had extracted some extra bounce.

He also shared in an entertaining 105-run stand for the second wicket with skipper Virat Kohli.

But while Rohit‚ who was dropped by Tabraiz Shamsi on 96‚ was magnificent with the blade‚ his calling between the wickets was diabolical as he ran out both in-form man Kohli (32) and Ajinke Rahane (8).

Both his partners had come more than halfway down the track only to be shown the face palm by Rohit at the non-strikers’ end.

It did have a negative influence on how the Indian innings progressed from there because the momentum they had maintained in reaching 176 for two in 32nd over slowly subsided as wickets fell.

Ngidi ran in hard and tried to hit the top of off-stump and he was rewarded for his efforts with three middle-order wickets as he beat his previous ODI best of two for 52‚ attained on Johannesburg on Saturday.

At the top of the innings‚ South Africa had opted to bowl first and Dhawan came out with aggressive intent swinging hard at Rabada in particular.

He cracked eight fours in his 34 but was eventually undone by the Proteas fast bowler in the eighth over.

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