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PHOTOS: Kohli, Thakur destroy SA in final ODI

Last updated on: February 16, 2018 23:58 IST
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Virat Kohli is the first batsman in ODI cricket to score 500 runs in a bilateral series.

Kohli is also the fastest to 9500 ODI runs, completing the feat in only 200 innings -- 17 less than AB de Villiers.

Shardul Thakur, playing only his third ODI, had figures of 4 for 52.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: India skipper Virat Kohli celebrates after completing his century in the sixth ODI against South Africa in Centurion on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

Virat Kohli set records aplenty while posting his 35th century as India crushed South Africa by eight wickets to win the ODI series by a comprehensive 5-1 margin, in Centurion, on Friday night.

Not only was this India's first series triumph on South African soil, but also their biggest ever in terms of margin outside the sub-continent.

Scorecard

Having kept their date with history by sealing the series in the previous encounter, India made short work of a paltry target of 205, winning in only 32.1 overs, with Kohli scoring an unbeaten 129 off 96 balls in another effortless chase.

Kohli, who scored his third hundred in the series, was in a punishing mood as he personally anchored the Proteas' biggest humiliation in a bilateral series at home in the last 17 years.

The last time South Africa lost 1-5 was back in 2001-02 season, against a champion Australian side.

Kohli looked a like a batsman from a different planet as he toyed with a quality South African attack, which appeared defeated even before the start of the visitors' innings.

The bowlers' back drive off Chris Morris and a signature cover drive signalled his intent as he became the first batsman in the history of ODI cricket to score 500 runs in a bilateral series, eclipsing teammate Rohit Sharma's previous best of 491 runs.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Virat Kohli steps out to hit a six en route to his third hundred in the series and 35th in ODIs. Photograph: BCCI

Kohli also became the fastest to 9500 ODI runs, completing the feat in only 200 innings -- 17 less than AB de Villiers.

Complacency is a word that's not there in his dictionary, and he was ruthless in his approach. A straight drive off Imran Tahir got him to his 35th ODI ton in only 82 balls. His innings had 19 fours and two sixes.

The celebrations on completion of the century were muted by his standards as he pointed at the name inscribed on the back of his jersey, which looked more like a statement of intent about who the 'boss' was.

The defeat in the Test series was a rude jolt for him, but the skipper was ready to lead from the front as it literally became a 'three-man show' for India.

Shikhar Dhawan

IMAGE: India's Shikhar Dhawan takes evasive action against a rising delivery from South Africa pacer Lungi Ngidi. Photograph: BCCI

While young wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (16 wickets) and Kuldeep Yadav (17 wickets) created a web, Kohli added insult to the injury with his blazing blade in one of most one-sided away series that India have been a part of in the last two decades.

Such was Kohli's dominance in the series, that after his aggregate of 558 runs, the next best is Shikhar Dhawan (323), who is more than 200 runs behind his skipper.

He led the side with complete authority and hardly put a foot wrong even during the dead rubber.

With the top two pace bowling slots going into the 2019 World Cup already grabbed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, Mumbai's Shardul Thakur made a case for himself as the third block in the jigsaw puzzle with an impressive 4 for 52 during the South African innings.

Shardul Thakur

IMAGE: India pacer Shardul Thakur celebrates after dismissing South Africa’s Hashim Amla in the sixth and final One-Day International, in Centurion, on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, Thakur made his first appearance in the series count with a four-wicket haul, as spinners Kuldeep Yadav (1/51) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/38) finished with 33 wickets together in this six-match series.

Aiden Markram (24) and Hashim Amla (10) made another sedate start, though Thakur was impressive in his first spell, even as Markram hit him for two boundaries to start off proceedings.

Jasprit Bumrah (2/24) kept a check on the scoring with his guile at the other end.

South Africa’s opening pair added 23 runs before Amla was caught behind, attempting to pull down the leg side off a short ball from Thakur.

The pacer struck for a second time within the first power-play as a clever change of pace foxed Markram completely  and he simply chipped a catch to Shreyas Iyer, who caught well for a change at cover.

A B de Villiers is bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal

IMAGE: South Africa batsman A B de Villiers is bowled by India spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. Photograph: BCCI

It brought AB de Villiers (30) and Khaya Zondo (54 runs) to the crease, and they rebuilt the innings with a 62-run partnership for the third wicket. They rotated the strike well and looked to be positive even against the spinners.

Zondo was harsh on Chahal and smacked him for two sixes in an over. It was perhaps the liveliest session of batting from South Africa in this series, barring their late assault during the ‘Pink’ ODI.

De Villiers and Zondo brought up their 50-partnership off 52 balls as the Proteas crossed 100 in the 19th over.

This is when things turned downwards again. Chahal bowled de Villiers in the 21st over as the batsman backed away and looked to make room. The breakthrough almost squeezed the scoring rate as the batsmen started eating up deliveries.

57 balls passed without a boundary and the scoring rate fell from 4.7/over to 4.27/over after de Villiers’s dismissal. In this passage of play, Zondo and Heinrich Klaasen (22) added only 30 runs off 58 balls.

Klaasen tried taking more risks but only managed to hit straight to Virat Kohli at short cover off Bumrah.

It became a quick double blow as Ferhaan Behardien (1) wasted his first outing in the series and holed out to third man off Thakur where Bumrah held a stunning catch.

Khaya Zondo

IMAGE: Khaya Zondo propped South Africa with his maiden ODI fifty. Photograph: BCCI

South Africa had lost two wickets in the space of six balls and were reduced to 136 for five in the 32nd over. Chris Morris (4) further exasperated his dressing room as he holed out off Yadav in the deep two overs later.

Zondo and Andile Phehlukwayo (34) tried to bring some stability to the innings. In doing so, Zondo scored his maiden ODI half-century off 67 balls. He was out shortly afterwards, caught in the deep in a bid to slog Chahal.

Chris Morris threw his bat around and scored 20 off 19 balls, inclusive of two sixes, before he was out caught off Hardik Pandya (1-39).

The all-rounder came up with another immaculate spell in keeping with his form in the latter half of the series.

Running out of partners, Phehlukwayo attacked the Indian bowling and managed to push the score past 200 in the 47th over, before he was last man out, returning a catch to Thakur.

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