New Delhi: Virat Kohli-led Indian team registered first ever series win on South African soil after defeating the hosts by 73 runs in the fifth and penultimate match of the series. Apparently, India had never won a series against South Africa on an away tour across formats.
Rohit Sharma and Kuldeep Yadav were the star performers for team India. While Rohit, who was under pressure, smashed a century, Kuldeep once again bamboozled South African batsmen to pick four wickets to bowl the Proteas out for 201, in their chase of 274.
As India registered a historic win, here’s how Twitter reacted.
Earlier, India 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 Sachin Tendulkar (49), Virat Kohli (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 India 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 a similar fashion.
However, a boundary and a hit over the fence in back-to-back overs set the momentum for the Mumbai batsman, who did not look back.
Rohit, however, was involved in two unfortunate run-outs — first with skipper Virat Kohli (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 captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni 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.
(With IANS inputs)