Chasing 5-1 ODI series win, India chooses to bowl vs SAfrica
CENTURION, South Africa (AP) Virat Kohli led India to a 5-1 series hammering of South Africa on Friday, scoring another magnificent century in an eight-wicket win in the sixth and final one-day international.
Kohli’s 129 not out came off just 96 balls, and he reached his century off 82 balls, as India strolled to 206-2 and past South Africa’s 204 all out.
India was again barely stretched in humbling the team that was No. 1 in the world rankings at the start of this series. That top ranking was taken by India, which already sealed the series victory, its ninth straight, before the emphatic performance at SuperSport Park.
With captain Kohli hitting three centuries and a half-century in the six games in South Africa, India won five of them in convincing fashion: By six wickets, nine wickets, 124 runs, 73 runs and eight wickets. South Africa’s only success was in the rain-shortened fourth game.
At Centurion, India had 107 balls to spare as it became the first team since Australia in 2002 to win five ODI games in a series in South Africa.
India’s 4-1 lead heading to the final game didn’t affect its ambition, even in a dead rubber.
Seamer Shardul Thakur took 4-52 in his first game on tour, India’s only change to its lineup, as South Africa’s batsmen were again bundled out cheaply.
Khaya Zondo’s 54, his maiden ODI half-century, was the only score of any significance for South Africa.
Kohli then powered his team home in a 126-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane for the third wicket. Kohli scored 91 of those 126 runs off just 67 balls. He hit 19 fours and two sixes, and finished with a series average of 186.