India gave a good account of their tremendous strength as a young and inexperienced side stunned a strong seven-wicket South African unit in the third ODI here on Tuesday to secure a memorable series win. The spin trio of Washington Sundar (2/15), Shahbaz Ahmed (2/32) and Kuldeep Yadav (4/18) picked the right lengths on a slow Kotla pitch to bundle South Africa for 99 against the Proteas with the lowest overall ODI India. The home team’s batters, led by Shubman Gill (49), chased a paltry 100-run goal in 19.1 overs. The series loss further jeopardized South Africa’s chances of a direct qualification for next year’s ODI World Cup.
Pacer Mohammad Siraj (2/17) also continued his good run to make a strong case for his inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad.
While Washington and Shahbaz got wickets up front, left-arm spinner Kuldeep, who missed a hat-trick, cleaned up the rear.
The quality of the Indian white ball side was fully demonstrated in the series as the second-rate team came from behind to win the three-game series 2-1.
Chasing a small total, opener Gill attacked the South African bowlers from the first ball while skipper Shikha Dhawan played second fiddle.
The Indians, in a hurry to finish the match, lost some momentum after wickets from Dhawan, whose paltry run continued in the series when he went out for eight, and Ishan Kishan (10).
However, Shreyas Iyer (28 not out) continued his stellar run as he hit three boundaries and two sixes, including a match-winning maximum to lead India to victory after Gill was previously trapped with three runs.
Formerly used for batting, the South African racquets failed to impress and fell like skittles.
Quinton de Kock (6) was the first to perish as he half-heartedly sliced the ball to smash it to Avesh Khan at the back point, giving Washington their first wicket.
India then apparently got their second wicket when Reeza Hendricks (3) was previously caught in the leg but the South African took the check to reverse the referee’s decision in the seventh.
Janneman Malan (15) beat Siraj for three boundaries in his consecutive overs before the pacer got rid of the opener while trying to play the pull shot.
The South African sluggers continued to fight and looked as Siraj picked up his second when he got Hendricks (3) next.
Aiden Makram (9), whose stay in the middle lasted 19 balls, became Shahbaz Ahmed’s first victim when he sanded through to goalkeeper Sanju Samson.
The visitors dropped to 50 in 17.1 overs but India was all with the visitors.
Skipper David Miller (7) and Heinrich Klaasen in the middle but he too failed to make a mark as it was rolled, the ball skidded around the wicket and clipped the outside of the stump. Kuldeep was included in the attack in the 20th round and joined the party as Andile Phehlukwayo couldn’t read his googly.
Klaasen and new man Marco Jansen sewed a 22-run streak that included a four and a six to push South Africa closer to the 100-run mark.
First Jansen stormed the field with a six, a few balls later Klassen hit a boundary but he was sent off by Shahbaz.
Kuldeep then burst with a three-wicket draw and cleared the lower order as South Africa were knocked out in 27.1 overs.
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