Team India led by Virat Kohli clinched the ongoing six-match ODI series against South Africa by registering a thumping 73-run victory in the fifth ODI at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth on Tuesday (February 13).
Considering the pattern with which the first four matches had panned out, India had comfortably looked a better side albeit their 5-wicket defeat in the last encounter at Johannesburg. During the course of the ODI series, South African batters have been found against the Indian wrist spinners – Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal
While Kuldeep’s 3 for 34 had laid the foundation for India’s 6-wicket win in the ODI series opener at Durban, Chahal’s maiden five-wicket haul (5 for 22) resulted in a resounding 9-wicket triumph for the visitors in the second ODI at Centurion.
The spin duo unleashed yet another havoc on the home team in the third ODI. Kuldeep and Chahal have claimed 8 for 69 while bowling in tandem as India registered a compressive 124-run victory at Cape Town.
Stand-in Proteas skipper Aiden Markram won the toss and elected to bowl first in the fifth one-day international at Port Elizabeth. At first, India’s opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan forged a 48-run stand before Rohit shared a 105-run partnership for the second wicket with skipper Virat Kohli. Just like the last two ODIs, India experienced yet another collapse in the middle order with Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya falling in quick succession.
Struggling for form throughout the South Africa tour, Rohit Sharma was the stand out batsman for India, scoring his 17th ODI ton (115 off 126 balls) – an innings laced with 11 boundaries and 4 sixes. MS Dhoni’s 17-ball 42 and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 20-ball 19 at the last stage propelled the visitors to a decent total of 274/7 in their 50 overs.
In reply, the Proteas batsmen once again got found out against the Indian wrist spinners. The duo of Kuldeep and Chahal claimed 6 wickets while bowling in tandem as the hosts got bundled out for 201 in 42.2 overs and consequently handed India their maiden bilateral ODI series victory on South African soil.
Seeing yet another stellar show from the Men in Blue, Twitteratis were in full of praise for Virat Kohli and company.
Here are some of the tweets lauding India’s maiden ODI series win in South Africa:
Congratulations to Virat Kohli and his Indian team on yet another stellar performance and a series win. This is Virat Kohli ‘s India and its a special team. Great great result. #SAvIND— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) February 13, 2018
India now have the chance to whitewash South Africa green on Friday #SAvIND— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) February 13, 2018
Many Congratulations to the Indian Cricket team on their first bilateral series win in South Africa. Brilliant consistency and hunger throughout and winning this series overseas is just a sign of things to come. Special team #SAvIND pic.twitter.com/eISyJ6HzUN— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 13, 2018
This is a memorable moment for this side. Have done something that previous Indian teams couldn't. Win an odi series in SA— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 13, 2018
Congratulations India on a historic series win. The wrist spinners have been incredible and this win must be really sweet for Virat and the boys. Thoroughly outplayed South Africa #SAvIND— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 13, 2018