South Africa cruise to series win
India made significant changes to their bowling attack, played on a surface far more suited to them than the Wanderers was – a slower Durban track – and showed some improvement from Thursday, but the end result was still the same. They conceded too many runs to South Africa’s opening pair and their own top order were shot out to leave the series decided with a game to play.
South Africa, in fifth place on the ICC’s one-day rankings, will consider this a major coup. AB de Villiers had slammed suggestions they were underdogs because of India’s position at the top of the list, because he believed home conditions would give his men a sizeable advantage. He has been proved right.
With minimal time to adapt to South African surfaces, India’s batsmen have yet to present the technique required to prosper against pace and short-pitched bowling while their seamers have yet to get a measure of the lengths required of them. Mohammed Shami was again the most impressive of the pack, using the slower bouncer and yorker to good effect but even with turn on offer, India could not stop Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock, who both scored centuries.
They paced their partnership to perfection, starting fairly slowly, milking the bowling, scoring with ease and then accelerating at the right times. In the process, Amla became the fastest to 4,000 ODI runs, achieving the feat in 81 innings, seven quicker than Viv Richards. De Kock’s hundred made him only the third South African, after Amla and Herschelle Gibbs, to score back-to-back centuries in ODIs, and maintained his 100% conversion rate of fifties into hundreds at this level.
De Kock offered one chance early on. He was on 13 when he edged off Shami but the ball fell short R Ashwin at first slip. Apart from that, de Kock and Amla’s partnership was flawless. They scored all around the field and by the 11th over, Dhoni was already searching for options
Summarized scores: South Africa 280 for 6 (De Kock 106, Amla 100, Shami 3-48) v India 146 (Tsotsobe 4-25, Steyn 3-17) by 134 runs