India came into the third ODI at Cape Town aiming for their 3rd straight win in the six match series. India had dominated the first two matches thanks to the mastery of Virat Kohli and the magic of spin of Chahal and Kuldeep.
The story repeated itself in the 3rd ODI as well, but this time, India was asked to bat first by Aiden Markram, who won the toss. South Africa gave debuts to Heinrich Klaasen and Lungi Ngidi. India on the other hand went in with the same team that was winning for the last two ODIs.
Rohit Sharma’s poor showing in South Africa continued, as he was dismissed for a duck, caught behind by Klaasen off Rabada. But Dhawan (76 in 63 balls with 12 fours) and Virat Kohli continued to plunder the Proteas attack, adding 140 runs for the second wicket, before Duminy had Dhawan caught by Markram.
Virat Kohli continued on his merry way, as India then lost wickets at the other end. Rahane (11), Pandya (14), Dhoni (14) and Jadhav (1) came and went without giving much exercise to the scorers. With India looking in trouble at 236/6 in 43rd over; Kohli found an able partner in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who made 16*.
Kohli then pressed on the accelerator and smacked the highest score by an Indian against South Africa in South Africa, as he made 160* in 159 balls with 12 fours and 2 sixes. He added 67* runs with Bhuvneshwar. India finished on 303/6, as Kohli smacked the last two balls of the 50th over for a 6 and 4.
South Africa needed some good batting and better luck against the spin twins to chase down the total. Well, they lost Amla for 5, LBW to Bumrah. But then Markram (32) and Duminy (51) added 78 runs for the 2nd wicket.
But then Virat Kohli brought out his main weapons in Chahal and Kuldeep. Kuldeep got Markram stumped by Dhoni, giving Dhoni his 400th victim in ODIs, making him only the fourth keeper to reach the milestone.
Chahal accounted for Duminy and Klaasen (6). Miller resisted for a while, with Zondo struggling at the other end. But Bumrah had Miller (25) caught behind and Zondo (17) and Morris (14) were dismissed in quick succession.
South Africa folded again in front of Indian wrist spinners and never looked like getting anywhere close to the target. Indian team on the other showed that, they can defend a total as well and are not just the chase happy team, though they prefer to chase.
Kuldeep ended up with figures of 4/23 and Chahal took 4/46, with Bumrah picked the remaining two wickets.
India won the match by 124 runs and went 3-0 up in the series.
The next match will be played at the New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg on Feb 10 and will be a 'Pink' ODI, as the South African team will be wearing the pink uniform for creating awareness about breast cancer.
IND 303/6 (V Kohli 160, S DHAWAN 76) defeated SA 179 (J DUMINY 51; K YADAV 4/23, Y CHAHAL 4/46) by 124 runs.