On a scorching day, when the crowd waited till the second session to flock to the stadium, Virat Kohli proved his high levels of fitness as he single-handedly took India to a match-winning 303/6 in the third ODI here at Newlands on Wednesday.
The total proved too much for the hosts as wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav (4/23) and Yuzvendra Chahal (4/46) got into the act again, skittling them out for 179 to help India to a 124-run win and a 3-0 unassailable lead in the six-match series.
While South Africa batsmen struggling against India spinners has become the norm in this series, it was Kohli’s resilience in extreme heat that caught everyone’s fancy. The skipper, who remained unbeaten on 160 (12 fours and two sixes) got a stroke of luck early on after Kagiso Rabada got him out leg before. The decision was overturned on review with the snickometer showing a spike when the ball went past his bat.
He cashed in on it and together with opener Shikhar Dhawan (76) set about punishing the Proteas bowlers on a perfect batting strip.
For South Africa, only seasoned batsman JP Duminy looked somewhat comfortable against the spin duo after he came in to bat at No.3 but he too fell to Yuzvendra Chahal to leave South Africa tottering at 95/4. Duminy had that lapse in Chahal’s fifth over as he tried to work one to the leg side but missed the line to be out leg before.
David Miller and Chris Morris did try but with the run rate climbing, attacking the spinners became the only option and while doing that they fell. With them South Africa’s hopes.
IND 303/6 (50 ov) Kohli 160* (159), Dhawan 76 (63) | Duminy 2/60
SA 179 (40) Duminy 51 (67) | Chahal 4/46, Kuldeep 4/23
Result: India won by 124 runs