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Rohit, Kuldeep guide India to unprecedented series win in South Africa

IANS  |  Port Elizabeth 

clinched their maiden ODI series win on South African soil, taking an unbeatable 4-1 lead after outclassing the hosts by 73 runs in the fifth One-(ODI) at the St. George's Park here on Tuesday.

Opener led the tourists striking his 17th ODI century before chinaman Kuldeep Yadav returned figures of 4/51 to bowl the Proteas out for 201, in their chase of 274.

The Proteas started off fluently with (32) and (71) putting on 52 runs in the first powerplay before first change seamer Hardik Pandya struck thrice in quick succession.

Pandya first removed Markram caught by at mid-off before inducing (1) to edge a length delivery off to Rohit at first slip.

Pandya then struck again after a couple of overs with the wicket of de Villers (6) caught behind by

Struggling at 65/3, (36) came to South Africa's rescue, forging a 62-run fourth wicket stand with Amla, before leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal brought the tourists back into the game with the wicket of the southpaw.

Despite losing his partners Amla, meanwhile, continued to fight a lone battle, reaching his 35th ODI fifty, his first in 13 innings even as he reached the milestone of 7,500 runs in 50-over

But the joy was shortlived for the Proteas, with Pandya showing his magic in the field this time with a brilliant direct throw to dismiss Amla.

Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav soon joined the party dismissing any chances of a South African comeback with the wickets of Andile Phehlukwayo (0), Kagiso Rabada (3), (39) and Tabraiz Shamsi (0) to reduce the hosts from 166/5 to 197/9.

Chahal then came back to trap last man (1) as the visitors erupted in joy.

Earlier, rode on Rohit's 126-ball 115, laced with 11 boundaries and four sixes to post 274/7 even after the lower order failed to capitalise on the brilliant start.

Rohit became the fourth highest century scorer in ODIs for India, after (49), (34) and Sourav Ganguly (22).

For South Africa, Lungisani Ngidi was the pick of the bowlers returning figures of 4/51 while Kagiso Rabada picked up a wicket.

Asked to bat, openers Shikhar Dhawan (34) and Rohit got off to a decent start before the former was removed by Rabada.

Rohit, who struggled to score in all the four previous games started his innings in similar fashion.

However, a boundary and a hit over the fence in back-to-back overs set the momentum for the batsman, who did not look back.

Rohit, however, was involved in two unfortunate run-outs -- first with (36) after sharing a 105-run second wicket stand and then Ajinkya Rahane (8), who fell victim to Rohit's mistimed call.

Despite that, the Mumbaikar continued his flow of runs to bring up his century in the 36th over after he got a lucky escape batting on 96 being dropped by Tabraiz Shamsi.

Incoming batsman Shreyas Iyer (30) played the perfect second fiddle to Rohit, engaging in a 60-run fourth wicket stand before Ngidi struck with the wicket of the centurion.

Ngidi continued his magic spell, scalping Hardik Pandya (0) next ball before former walked into the middle.

But Ngidi kept intimidating the Indians and was successful in seeing the back of Iyer before packing back Dhoni for 13 runs even as Bhuvneshwar Kumar (19 not out) contributed some important runs to help the team to a healthy total.

Brief scores: India 274/7 (115, Virat Kohli 36, Shikhar Dhawan 34; Lungisani Ngidi 3/35) beat 201 (71, 39, Kuldeep Yadav 4/51, Hardik Pandya 2/30) by 73 runs.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 14 2018. 00:52 IST
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