Cape Town: A fantastic century by Quinton de Kock (124 off 130) helped South Africa post a challenging 287 against India in the third and final ODI of the three-match series, here Sunday.
Apart from de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen (52 off 59) and David Miller (39 off 38) also played vital knocks for the Proteas.
After winning the toss and opting to bowl first, India got the first breakthrough very early as Deepak Chahar dismissed Janneman Malan on 1. Chahar bowled a lovely outswinger that Malan wanted to defend but got an outside edge and wicketkeeper Rishab Pant took the catch in the 3rd over of the innings.
Skipper Temba Bavum then joined Quinton de Kock at the crease. The duo moved Proteas innings at a brisk rate before KL Rahul ran Bavuma out on eight with a direct hit from mid-off, leaving hosts at 34-2 after 6.3 overs.
Despite losing two wickets, Proteas’ scoring rate didn’t drop as Aiden Markram and de Kock stitched a handy partnership. Quinton, especially, looked in superb touch and hit a few attractive shots, and took South Africa to 53/2 after 10 overs.
It was Chahar again who gave India their next wicket by getting rid of Markram (15), who played a pull shot and substitute fielder Ruturaj Gaikwad ran from his left to hold a good catch at deep midwicket.
Though, wickets were falling from the other end, de Kock kept playing his natural aggressive game along with the in-form Rassie van der Dussen at the crease. During the process, Van der Dussen was also dropped by Pant. Jayant Yadav, who is playing his first match of the series, pitched the ball outside off and Dussen edged it and Pant failed to grab it behind the wickets.
Soon, de Kock brought up his second consecutive half-century and his 28th overall in ODIs off just 59 balls, taking the hosts past 100 inside 20 overs. Inform Dussen, who got lifeline and looked a bit tentative at the beginning of his innings, also complimented his partner well by rotating strikes well.
De Kock hit boundaries and sixes at regular intervals off Indian bowlers especially spinners and kept the scoreboard ticking. In the 30th over, the duo brought up their 100-run stand, which came in just 108 deliveries. In the next over, de Kock, who marshaled the innings beautifully, notched up a stellar century which was his 17th ODI ton.
On the other hand, Dussen got the second reprieve of his innings. It was again Jayant Yadav, who forced Dussen into an edge and Pant dropped the catch. He took full advantage of the chance and brought up his fifty in 53 deliveries.
At 212/3 after 35 overs, South Africa were looking set for a big finish but India made a remarkable comeback by taking three wickets in quick succession.
Jasprit Bumrah gave India the big wicket of de Kock, who got out after scoring 124 and stitching a 144-run fourth-wicket stand with van der Dussen. The left-hander tried to clear the fence but he mistimed his shot as Dhawan moved to his right from deep square leg and took a calm catch in front of the boundary rope.
Soon after de Kock’s dismissal, Van der Dussen (52) was caught brilliantly in the deep by Iyer off Chahal. Andile Phehlukwayo (4) was the next man to get dismissed via a run-out as Pant whipped off the bails on Shreyas Iyer’s flat throw, leaving South Africa at 228-6 after 40.1 overs.
With nine overs to go, it was the lower order’s responsibility to give the innings a strong finish. Miller and Dwaine Pretorius (20) tried their best by stitching a 44-run stand for the seventh wicket before the latter got out in the 48th over. In the last two overs, Indian bowlers bowled with much better discipline and didn’t allow Proteas batters to score freely. They dismissed David Miller (39), Keshav Maharaj (6), and Sisanda Magala (0) to bowl out South Africa for 287-10 in 49.5 overs.
Prasidh Krishna (3/59), Jasprit Bumrah (2/52), Deepak Chahar (2/53) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1/47) were the wicket-takers for India.
Brief scores: South Africa for 287 aii out in 49.5 overs (Quinton de Kock 124, Rassie van der Dussen 52; Prasidh Krishna 3/59) vs India