Pacemen pack a punch as SA wrap up series

De Kock, Amla hit tons as India wither

Pacemen pack a punch as SA wrap up series

South Africa completed a series win on Sunday with embarrassing ease as the Indian batsmen were once again found wanting in skill as well temperament.

Riding on fine hundreds by Hashim Amla (100) and Quinton de Kock (106), South Africa mustered 280 for six after the second one-dayer was reduced to a 49-over-a-side affair due to wet outfield in the morning. India replied with 146 all out as the hosts took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series with a huge 134-run victory.

If the South African pacers rattled the Indians with raw pace at Johannesburg in the first ODI, they adopted a rather scientific approach in Kingsmead where the pitch wasn’t as quick as the Wanderers one.

They used the short-pitched balls more judiciously, and not even one Indian frontline batsman perished to snorters. Shikhar Dhawan’s rough South African initiation continued as the left-hander’s uppish drive off Dale Steyn ended in the hands of Jean-Paul Duminy at covers.

Virat Kohli lasted just five balls, edging Lonwabo Tsotsobe to De Kock behind the stumps, while Rohit Sharma, who looked more comfortable in the middle than in Johannesburg, and Ajinkya Rahane, who replaced Yuvraj Singh in the team, departed with the score on 34 in 8.4 overs.

Once you lose nearly half the side inside the first 10 overs, it’s a tough task to claw back into a match, and once again the job of firefighting was left to MS Dhoni. The skipper, in the company of Suresh Raina, added 40 runs for a sedate fourth wicket association to stem the rot for a brief while.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Indians might have been looking at the gloomy skies to open up and save the day for them. Vernon Philander, who came in for Wayne Parnell, elicited an edge from Dhoni that was smartly pouched by De Kock behind the wicket. The dismissal of Dhoni ended the last hope of Indians to make a fist of the chase. The gravity-defying catch that AB de Villiers took near the ropes to oust Ravindra Jadeja off Philander surmised the performance of both the sides – SA outrageously brilliant and India downright inadequate.

As it happened in Johannesburg, the genesis of South African victory was in the partnership of Amla and De Kock, who stitched together their second successive 150-plus stand. En route that massive 194-run alliance, De Kock and Amla also became only the second opening pair in the history of one-day cricket to notch 150-plus stand in consecutive matches. The other combine to achieve that rare feat was Taufeeq Umar and Salim Elahi of Pakistan against Zimbabwe in 2002.

Of course, Amla and De Kock batted in a much slower tempo than in the Wanderers, and the Durban pitch with a hint of double bounce, played its part in the SA openers treading a cautious path. They still could have gone on offensive once runs were not coming easily, but they preferred a more commonsense approach and it paid handsome dividends.

De Kock showed great maturity to bring up his third ODI hundred. The young South African left-hander has progressed to make a hundred on all the three occasions he has went past the 50-run mark, and all in the last one month.

De Kock was dismissed much against the run of play – his full-blooded sweep of R Ashwin ending in the hands of Rohit Sharma at square leg. But Amla at the other end soon brought up his own hundred. At 233 for two in 36.1 overs, South Africa were in a great position to post another total well in excess of 300. But an uncharacteristic rush of blood from Amla sparked a mini-collapse. Amla went for a hook shot to a bouncer outside the off-stump off Umesh, but all he could manage was an edge to Dhoni behind the stumps. However, Ryan McLaren and Vernon Philander combined to add a quick 25 runs for the seventh wicket to carry South Africa to a strong total that proved way beyond India’s grasp. 

score board

De Kock c Rohit b Ashwin    106
(118b, 9x4)
Amla c Dhoni b Shami    100
(117b, 8x4)
De Villiers st Dhoni b Jadeja    3
Duminy (run out)    26
(29b, 2x4)
Miller lbw Shami    0
Kallis b Shami    10
(13b, 1x4)
McLaren (not out)    12
(5b, 1x4, 1x6)
Philander (not out)    14
(5b, 3x4)
Extras (B-1, LB-2, W-6)    9
Total (6 wkts, 49 overs)    280
Fall of wickets: 1-194 (De Kock), 2-199 (De Villiers), 3-233 (Amla), 4-234 (Miller), 5-249 (Duminy), 6-255 (Kallis).
Bowling: Umesh 6-0-45-0, Shami 8-0-48-3 (w-4), Ishant 7-0-38-0, Ashwin 9-0-48-1 (w-1), Raina 6-0-32-0, Kohli 3-0-17-0, Jadeja 10-0-49-1.
Rohit c Amla b Tsotsobe    19
(26b, 2x4)
Dhawan c Duminy b Steyn    0
Kohli c De Kock b Tsotsobe    0
Rahane c De Kock b Morkel    8
(17b, 1x4)
Raina c Miller b Morkel    36
(50b, 3x4)
Dhoni c De Kock b Philander    19
Jadeja c De Villiers b Philander    26
(34b, 1x4, 1x6)
Ashwin c De Kock b Steyn    15
(26b, 1x4)
Shami b Tsotsobe    8
Umesh b Steyn    1
Ishant (not out)    0
Extras (B-4, LB-1, W-8, NB-1)    14
Total (all out, 35.1 overs)    146
Fall of wickets: 1-10 (Dhawan), 2-16 (Kohli), 3-29 (Rohit), 4-34 (Rahane), 5-74 (Dhoni), 6-95 (Raina), 7-133 (Ashwin), 8-145 (Jadeja), 9-146 (Umesh).
Bowling: Steyn 7-1-17-3 (w-1), Tsotsobe 7.1-0-25-4 (w-2), Morkel 6-0-34-2 (nb-1, w-2), Philander 6-1-20-1, Duminy 5-0-20-0, McLaren 4-0-25-0 (w-3).

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