India Clinch Maiden Series Win In South Africa, Beat Proteas By 73 Runs In 5th ODI
Team India created history as they clinched their first ever bilateral ODI series win on South African soil by beating Proteas by 73 runs in the fifth One-day International (ODI) at St George's Park on Tuesday.
Team India created history as they clinched their first ever bilateral ODI series win on South African soil by beating Proteas by 73 runs in the fifth One-day International (ODI) at St George's Park on Tuesday. India wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal wreaked havoc as the South Africans were skittled for 201 in 42.2 overs after India had posted 274 for seven. Kuldeep accounted for four South African wickets while Chahal picked two as the hosts batsmen struggled on a slow track in Port Elizabeth.
No Indian men's side since its first tour in South Africa back in 1992, has ever won a series across any format. They did win a one-off T20 match in 2006 -- their first-ever shortest format but it was a single match event.
The team under Kohli achieved which neither Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid nor Mahendra Singh Dhoni could ever accomplish -- win a full fledged series in the Rainbow Nation.
Chasing 275, South Africa did put up a fight before wrist spinners Kuldeep and Chahal found their bearings after a rare off-day.
One can't ignore Hardik Pandya's contribution as he claimed 2 for 30 and then a run-out with a direct throw to send in-form Hashim Amla (71) packing.
India will play their sixth and final ODI on Friday at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Earlier, opener Rohit Sharma scored his maiden century on South African soil as India posted 274 for seven.
Rohit (115) who notched up his 17th ODI century hit 11 boundaries and four sixes in his 126-ball innings. It was also his second ton against South Africa, the first one came in 2015 at Kanpur when he scored 150.
The century also helped Rohit become the fourth highest century scorer in ODIs for India, following 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.
India are now only behind West Indies' 14 successive bilateral ODI series wins. Kohli's team has nine series wins on the trot.
India have cemented their number-one ranking. The visitors had entered the six-match series in second position on 119 points, two points behind leaders South Africa. After taking a 4-1 lead, India have moved to 122 points, while South Africa have dropped to 118 points.
Even if South Africa wins on Friday, India will remain No.1 on 121 points, while South Africa will end on 119 points. In contrast, if India wins the series 5-1, then they will finish on 123 points, while South Africa will end on 117 points.
India had started the series fully aware that they would have to win the series by 4-2 or better if they were to add No.1 ODI ranking to their No.1 Test ranking..
This is the first time since October 2017 and fifth time overall that India have finished on top of the ODI rankings following the conclusion of a series since rising to the top for the first time in January 2013.
(With PTI inputs)