3rd ODI: Rain plays spoil sport, South Africa clinch series 2-0
Zee Media Bureau/Suyash Srivastava
Centurion: South African wicketkeeper batsman Quinton de Kock slammed his third consecutive century of the series as the hosts won the series 2-0 after the match was called off due to incessant rain.
De Kock and AB de Villiers added a 171-run partnership for the fourth wicket after Indian seamers for the first time in the series performed well and dismissed the first three batsmen for just 28 runs. But since there on, the Proteas were back in the game as a result of some scintillating batting from de Kock and de Villiers.
Indian team missed out on a big opportunity earlier in the innings when de Kock pulled a short ball towards short fine leg where Ajinkya Rahane dropped the catch. De Kock was batting on 37 at that time. After a few overs, de Kock mistimed one from Ashwin towards long-on where Yuvraj Singh ran back from mid-on, got under the ball, but grassed it at the last moment. De Kock made the best of the two dropped chances, and went onto to create history by becoming the first wicketkeeper batsman to score three consecutive centuries.
Earlier, Indian seamers for the first time made an excellent start in the series when Mohammad Shami and Ishant Sharma got early breakthroughs for the team.
Hashim Amla was dismissed off a low full-toss from Shami, which he worked straight to Yuvraj Singh at square leg. Ishant Sharma then bowled a brilliant fourth over where he picked two wickets, first of Henry Davids, followed by the wicket of in-form JP Duminy.
Davids defended a ball that moved away after pitching and Suresh Raina at second slip took a good catch diving to his left. Sharma bowled a similar delivery to Duminy who too edged it towards the slip cordon and on this occasion, Raina took an even better low catch, diving to his right.
Ishant Sharma was the pick of the Indian bowlers as he bowled with an accurate line and length and was rewarded with four wickets.
Once de Kock and AB de Villiers were dismissed in quick successions, David Miller played a brilliant cameo lower down the order, and it was because of his innings that the hosts managed to cross the 300-run mark for the third time in the series. Miller smashed 56 runs from just 34 balls and remained unbeaten towards the end. South Africa put 301 runs on the board at the end of the first innings.
But the Indian team couldn't face even a single ball as rain interrupted play ahead of the resumption and it got heavier later on which led to the abandonment.
South Africa were a dominant force right throughout the series and they will start the two-match Test series high on confidence. The first Test match will be played at the Wanderers from December 18.