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SAvIND: Kohli & Co create history as India win first ever series on South African soil

India registers their first bilateral ODI series in 25 years as they defeated South Africa by 73 runs during 5th ODI played at Port Elizabeth. South African captain Markram won the toss and fielded first.  Rohit Sharma scored 115, the middle order struggle, posted 274 for 7 in 50 overs. Chasing the target of 275, Hashim Amla and Markram started well. Hardik Pandya picked 2 important wickets and also produced a brilliant run out to dismiss Amla. The spin twin of Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav picked 6 wickets between them.

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South African captain Aiden Markram won the toss and invited India into bat. Shikhar Dhawan continued to his brilliant form again from past 4 matches. Rohit Sharma took time then and came back to his normal self. Dhawan and Sharma added 48 runs in 7.2 overs before the last match centurion was dismissed 34 runs. At the end of 10 overs, India made a positive start scoring 61 runs for the loss of 1 wicket.

Kohli and Rohit Sharma steadied the innings with good hitting from Sharma who looked good after the first 4 failures. The 3-time double centurion in ODI cricket reached his fifty off 50 balls. Both batsmen continued to play the South African bowlers with ease. In the 26th over, Virat Kohli ran where there no run and was dismissed for 36. Rahane was also run out in an unfortunate manner. Rohit Sharma completed his maiden ODI century in South African shores reaching 100 off 107 balls.

Sheryas Iyer and Rohit Sharma added 60 runs for the 5th wicket. Sharma was dismissed in the 43rd over, for 115. Like the previous match, Men in Blue could only score 55 runs to post a total of 274 for 7 in 50 overs.

Lungi Ngidi was the pick of bowlers with 4 wickets. Also, the rest of Indian batting order could not take India past 300 total.

Chasing the total of 275, the South African openers Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla made a positive note. Captain Markram looked in aggressive touch before being dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah. Both of them added 52 runs from 9.4 overs. At the end of 10 overs, South Africa scored 52 runs.

Hardik Pandya came back into the attack and dismissed JP Duminy, dangerous AB de Villiers in quick successions to put hosts under pressure. David Miller and Hashim steadied the innings with a 62 runs stand for the 4th wicket. Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Miller again in series again. Hashim Amla completed his fifty off 72 balls and did not look fluent in his innings.

Hardik Pandya produced a brilliant run out to dismiss well-set Amla for 71. Klassen made 39 runs. South Africa was bowled out for 201 in 42.2 overs. Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of bowlers with 4 wickets, Chahal with 2, Hardik Pandya and Bumrah 1.

India 274 for 7 in 50 overs ( Rohit Sharma 115, Kohli 36, Dhawan 34, Lungi Ngidi 4/51) beat

South Africa 201 in 42.2 overs ( Hashim Amla 71, Klassen 39, Miller 36, Kuldeep Yadav 4/58, Chahal 2/43, Pandya 2/30) by 73 runs.

Indian Captain Virat Kohli said: Another complete performance from our team. Since the third test win in Johannesburg, the team has performed as a unit to create history. After series win, we would sit and discuss on things to improve. In the next match, we might try few players and want to the series 5-1.

South African captain Aiden Markram said: Credit must go to India as our batting was not up to the mark. Lungi Ngidi spells were brilliant and keep taking wickets from the middle period to end was important. Batsmen threw their wickets away. We struggled as the team started losing wicket which halted our momentum. As the series progressed, our batsmen have played spinners better. With the final match, we would look end series on a high.

Man of the match Rohit Sharma: Had a good time in the middle. As the game went, wicket became slower and slower. I knew I don’t have to change and runs would come. We were in a spot of bother and it was important me to bat longer. It has been a hallmark of our team to put a score on the board and defend the score with ease.

India wins their series win in South Africa and takes a 4-1 lead. The last and final ODI will be played on 16th February 2018 at Centurion.