Home Sports Unstoppable Virat Kohli Spinners Give Visitors Unassailable 3-0 Lead in odi series against South africa

Unstoppable Virat Kohli Spinners Give Visitors Unassailable 3-0 Lead in odi series against South africa

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Unstoppable Virat Kohli Spinners Give Visitors Unassailable 3-0 Lead in odi series against South africa

Virat Kohli’s masterclass and a pouncing pack of wrist-spinners ensured a 124-run win for India in the third ODI here, giving the visitors an unassailable 3-0 lead and taking them one step closer to a maiden series triumph in South Africa. Kohli reaffirmed his status as an ODI great with an unbeaten 160 off 159 balls on a challenging surface, propelling India to 303 for six. It was the 34th ODI hundred for the Indian captain, who is now 15 shy of Sachin Tendulkar’s mark of 49. Kohli has been simply unstoppable in the 50-over format of late and Wednesday’s match-winning effort was his fourth three-figure score in the last six ODIs. It was also his second hundred of the series and third of the tour.

Man of the match and Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who continued his brilliant form in the third ODI against South Africa, said that the team always looks for someone to bat till the end and it was an amazing feeling to do so as the captain. Kohli made 160 not out from 159 balls to lead his side to a 124-run victory.

While most Indian batsmen struggled after South Africa opted to bowl, Kohli made batting look easy. Shikhar Dhawan too stood out with a fluent 76 off 63 balls.

South Africa started the chase on a promising note with captain Aiden Markram (32) and JP Duminy (51) sharing a 78-run stand for the second wicket.

But most of their runs came against the pacers and when Indian spinners got into the act, it was a familiar story as South Africa surrendered to Yuzvendra Chahal (4/46) and Kuldeep Yadav (4/23) to end way behind at 170 all out in 40 overs.

The South African batsmen failed to pick India’s wily wrist-spinners, as was the case in the first two ODIs.

The slide began with the fall of Markram, who was stumped by MS Dhoni after getting beaten by a flighted delivery from Yadav.

It happened to be Dhoni’s 400th dismissal in ODIs as he became only the fourth wicket-keeper to reach that milestone in ODIs.

He also became the first Indian batsman to score a hundred against South Africa at Newlands. Only Ganguly previously had an ODI century at this ground, but that came against Kenya in March 2003.

Records kept tumbling as his innings progressed. He also became the Indian ODI captain with most hundreds to his name.

He went past Ganguly again, who has 11 centuries in 142 innings. Kohli now boasts of 12 hundreds as skipper but in only 43 innings.

Kohli, with 318 runs in this series so far, now also has the most runs for a visiting batsman in a bilateral ODI series against South Africa in South Africa. Ricky Ponting, with 283 runs in 2001-02, was the previous best.

After India took a 3-0 lead in the series, Kohli said, “Well the tour didn’t start off too well but I knew I had to come in and get stuck in for us to compete in every game. Feels very good that it’s coming off in winning causes.”

Kohli felt that the match took a drastic turn after the 30th over. “It started off with good pace and bounce. The new ball was hitting the ball nicely with pace. It was a drastic change after the 30th over and we immediately chopped down our target from 330 to 280-290.”

Adding that it was an amazing feeling to stick till the end, especially as a captain, the 29-year old said, “You’re always looking for someone to get bat till the end and it’s amazing if you do it as the captain. Another good partnership with Shikhar and a good stand with Bhuvi in the end as well. I was cramping towards the end but knew I had to stay till the end to get us 300.”

“These are the times you’re tested mentally as well as physically. We wanted to give the spinners the pressure of defending today and it worked out. The intensity will be more in the fourth game because we can’t lose this series anymore. I’m sure they’ll come all guns blazing so we want to close that door,” he added.

India posted 303 for six in their 50 overs, before restricting their hosts to 179 all out to take a 3-0 lead in the series.

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