When Virat Kohli was hammering South African bowlers in the third ODI at Cape Town, about 955 km away in Kimberley there was another cricketer -- Smriti Mandhana -- who was sending the South African women's team on a leather hunt. Mandhana and Kohli scored centuries and helped their teams register comprehensive wins over their opponents. By sheer coincidence, the two cricketers share the same jersey number 18. It seems after batting legend Sachin Tendulkar's number 10, jersey number 18 will soon be etched in the elite list.
Kohli slammed his 34th ODI ton to star in India's victory while the 21-year-old Mandhana notched up her third century to guide her team to a second consecutive win for the women's team.
Kohli's unbeaten 160-run knock helped the Men in Blue post a competitive 303 for 6 after the team's middle-order failed to click. Continuing his glorious run in the tour, Kohli, who had slammed 112 and 46 not out in the first two ODIs, shouldered the Indian innings single-handedly. The 29-year-old smashed 12 boundaries and two sixes in his unbeaten 159-ball knock.
On the other hand, Mandhana scored a brilliant 135 off 129 balls to help the Indian women outclass their South African counterparts by a huge 178 runs and seal the three-match ODI series 2-0.
Sent into bat, left-handed Mandhana started from where she left in the first game and smashed the ball cleanly to form the base for India's 302 for three. She hit 14 boundaries and a six during her innings. Incidentally, this is Mandhana's second ODI century against South Africa.
Mandhana hogged the limelight when she scored a match-winning century against the West Indies during ICC Women's World Cup last year.