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SA create history, register maiden series win on Indian soil with 214-run win

SAAB de Villiers-led South Africa created history at the Wankhede stadium on Sunday as they registered their first ODI series win in India. After putting 438 runs on board, the visitors crushed India by 214 runs in the 5th ODI match and sealed the series 3-2.

Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn continued the good work started by Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, and AB de Villiers as South Africa trounced India by 214 runs to win.

India got off to a watchful start with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan putting on 22 in seven overs. Rohit, tied down for 20 balls, ended up trying to hit Kyle Abbott over the top and only got an outside edge to Imran Tahir at third man. He scored 16 off 20 with three boundaries. Virat Kohli came in at No. 3 again and hit a six to get going. However, he chased a wide ball from Rabada and was taken superbly by a diving Quinton de Kock for 7 off 6 balls. India were now 44 for 2 and in deep trouble, with two of their best ODI batsmen back in the hut and the others short of form and confidence.

What followed was the only partnership of India’s chase that provided any hope for the hosts. Dhawan was joined by Ajinkya Rahane, and the duo put on an excellent 112. They ran well between the wickets and got boundaries at regular intervals as well. Rahane was on a different level; he hit nine fours and three sixes in his 58-ball 87, while Dhawan’s 60 came in 59 balls with eight boundaries. However, once they were out it was a simple matter of India buckling under the sheer weight of runs and South Africa finishing off the match early. Suresh Raina missed a yorker and was bowled for 12. MS Dhoni hung around amid the rubble and was ninth out for a 29-ball 27, but the match was already over by the time he was out. Akshar Patel continued to flop with the bat, scoring just 5. Harbhajan Singh was out for a duck and Bhuvneshwar Kumar scored 1.

Earlier, de Kock, du Plessis, and de Villiers absolutely massacred the hapless Indian bowlers as South Africa scored 438 for 4 in the fifth One-Day International (ODI) in Mumbai. No Indian bowler went for under six runs per over, while Mohit Sharma went for as many as 12 an over and Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceded 106 in his 10 overs as South Africa amassed the highest score ever on Indian soil. On a day when quite a few records were broken, Hashim Amla got the Proteas off to a flying start; his 13-ball 23 had five boundaries. Amla also became the fastest cricketer — in terms of innings taken — to get to 6,000 ODI runs. He bettered Virat Kohli to reach the landmark. It would not be the only record of Kohli’s that was broken on the day. Amla finally edged Mohit Sharma behind to MS Dhoni as India took their first wicket with 33 on the board. It was their only scalp for over 20 overs.

Both de Kock and du Plessis have been in excellent form, and on possibly the flattest pitch seen yet in the series the duo made merry at the expense of the Indian bowlers. Harbhajan Singh bowled beautifully early on but was negotiated successfully by the pair. They slowed down while he and Akshar Patel were bowling in tandem, but once they got through the initial probing overs both batsmen cut loose. De Kock was especially brutal, hitting 17 fours and a six en route to his fifth ODI century against India and eighth overall. Along the way he emulated Sachin Tendulkar and went past Kohli, with whom he was tied, to join Tendulkar at eight ODI hundreds before turning 23. He was eventually dismissed hitting Suresh Raina to Kohli for 109 off 87 balls. South Africa were now 187 for 2 in the 27th over. And yet, the true carnage was to follow.

Du Plessis had scored three half-centuries in the first three matches before missing out in the previous match. He batted fluently but once again got a bit lucky, surviving chances on 45 when Ajinkya Rahane dropped him and again on 85 when he was put down by Amit Mishra. He took 61 balls to reach 50, and then got to his 100 off 105 balls. Once he got to three figures, a mixture of cramps and ridiculously good timing made him score 33 off his next 10 balls before walking off the field retired hurt.

Meanwhile, de Villiers was playing the type of innings only he can. He came in to bat with a lot of overs left, but to a casual observer it would seem like he had walked out in the death overs. He seemed to disregard the concept of fours and instead dealt in sixes. He got to his century off 57 balls with three fours and eight sixes, and promptly hit his ninth to celebrate his ton. De Villiers was finally dismissed for 119 off 61 balls with three fours and 11 sixes. David Miller and Farhaan Behardien took South Africa past 400 (albeit via a dropped catch from Suresh Raina), and threw their bats around as well.

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