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SA vs IND, 6th ODI, Review: India steamroll hosts as Virat Kohli smacks yet another ton

The Indian captain was once again at his usual best and shepherded yet another chase.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

India have won the sixth and final ODI of the series against South Africa and have thumped the hosts by 5-1 to finally end their misery. It was yet another clinical performance from the visitors and it never felt like the Proteas were competing. The game proceeded like a routine with the Indian fast bowlers picking early wickets and the spinners coming on to snuff the momentum further. However, it was Virat Kohli once again in the chase for the Men in Blue who slammed his 35th ODI ton for his country.

The visitors won the toss and decided to challenge themselves in the chase. Much to the surprise of everyone, they made only one change for the dead rubber by including Shardul Thakur at the expense of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Proteas, however, made four changes by dropping the likes of David Miller, JP Duminy and Tabraiz Shamsi. They also rested Kagiso Rabada ahead of the crucial Test series against Australia. Khaya Zondo, Farhaan Behardien, Imran Tahir and Chris Morris came into the side as the home side was playing for pride.

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Hashim Amla’s poor run in the series as he was strangled down the leg side in the seventh over by Shardul Thakur. Soon his partner Aiden Markram threw away yet another start and was sent packing by the same bowler on 24. Then AB de Villiers and Zondo rebuilt the innings and stitched a partnership of 62 runs. Just when things coming back to normalcy for them, Yuzvendra Chahal castled the former which applied the brakes on the run rate. Heinrich Klaasen took time to get going and then lost his wicket to Jasprit Bumrah.

Familiar collapse

The Indian bowlers kept coming relentlessly at the Proteas and they were never allowed to recover. Even the poor shots by some batsmen played into the hands of the visitors. Meanwhile, Zondo played some delightful strokes to notch up his maiden half-century but was dismissed soon after making 54 runs. South Africa collapsed to 204 all out from being comfortably placed at 105/2. They crossed 200 only due to the efforts of Andile Phehlukwayo (34) and Morne Morkel (20).

Thakur was the pick of the bowlers for India as he had a wonderful outing with the ball and returned with the figures of 4/52. All the other bowlers scalped at least a wicket. Though the home side played the spinners well this time around they lost the wickets at the regular intervals.

Kohli special run-chase

India were never going to break a sweat in the chase and they easily steamrolled the hosts with eight wickets in hand. Rohit Sharma, much like Amla, was caught behind the wickets in the fourth over which brought the man in form Virat Kohli in the middle. He looked in no trouble whatsoever and middled everything from the word go. Kohli played all the shots in his repertoire which were absolutely a treat to watch for the spectators present in the Stadium.

Shikhar Dhawan though struggled during his 34-ball stay and was sent back by Lungi Ngidi. The wicket made no difference to the chase master of India as he continued to play his shots and never got bogged down. Ajinkya Rahane also came out and looked at ease. In the process, Kohli brought up his record 35th century, his third in the series, and soaked in all the applause from the crowd for the umpteenth time in his career.

The going was so smooth for India that it seemed that even the hosts had left all the hopes of winning the game mid-way through the chase. To add to their woes, Kohli was also dropped soon after his ton off Imran Tahir. He never needed a second invitation to finish off the match and stayed unbeaten until the end and won the game for his team. He remained unbeaten 129 runs with 18 fours and a couple of sixes as Rahane scored a patient knock of 34 runs.

Brief Scores

South Africa 204 after 46.5 overs (K Zondo 54, A Phehlukwayo 34; S Thakur 4/52, J Bumrah 2/24)

India 206/2 after 32.1 overs (V Kohli 129*; L Ngidi 2/50)

Result: India won by eight wickets

Man of the Match: Virat Kohli

Man of the Series: Virat Kohli

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