Live: South Africa set a target of 302 to win 3rd ODI
Centurion: Quinton de Kock notched up his third successive hundred while his captain A B de Villiers also struck a century as South Africa wriggled out of a tight spot to post an imposing 301 for 8 in their third and final cricket one-dayer against India here today.
Opening batsman de Kock smashed nine fours and two sixes for his 101 off 120 balls to become the third South African and fifth overall batsman to hit a century in three successive innings to take the home side past 300 after being reduced to 28 for three in the eighth over at SuperSportPark.
Skipper de Villiers, who hit his 16th ODI century, shared a crucial 171-run partnership for the fourth wicket with de Kock to repair the South African innings. De Villiers struck six fours and five sixes in his 101-ball innings.
For India, pacer Ishant Sharma finished with 4/40 from his 10 overs, picking up his 100th ODI wicket in doing so.
On a pitch that seemed to be the flattest of the three ODIs on display so far, de Villiers had no qualms about batting first after winning the toss. Since they had already stitched up the series, the hosts rested Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, bringing in Henry Davids, Wayne Parnell and Imran Tahir.
India made the lone change, with the fit-again Yuvraj Singh taking Ajinkya Rahane’s spot.
The Proteas’ in-form openers Hashim Amla and de Kock began in the same fashion as they did in the revious two matches, with the opening overs of Ishant and Umesh Yadav resulting in a string of boundaries. However, there was a difference this time. India would strike early, and not just once.
First up, Mohammad Shami was successful in breaking the opening stand cheaply. The first wicket yielded only 22 runs, as Amla was out pulling, caught by Yuvraj. He followed up his century in Durban with only 13 runs. Ishant then got a double break-through for his team, dismissing both Davids (1) and JP Duminy (1) in the eighth over. For the first time in three matches, the hosts were feeling the heat after being reduced to 28 for three.