India take unassailable 3-0 lead, crush SA by 124 runs in third ODI
Cape Town : India dominated with both bat and ball to thrash South Africa by 124 runs in the third One-Day International (ODI) here on Wednesday.
The Indians rode on skipper Virat Kohli's unbeaten 160 to post a total of 303/6 in their allotted 50 overs.
Left-arm spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav then ran through the South African batting line-up with four wickets each as the hosts folded up for 179 runs in 40 overs.
Fast bolwer Jasprit Bumrah bagged two wickets.
India now lead the six-match series 3-0.
Apart from Jean-Paul Duminy, who scored 51 runs off 67 balls, the other South African batsmen were unable to cope with the Indian bowling.
The hosts suffered an early hiccup when the experienced Hashim Amla was trapped leg before by Bumrah in the second over.
Duminy and Aiden Markram added 78 runs between them off around 15 overs before the latter was stumped off Yadav's bowling.
Chahal dismissed Heinrich Klaasen and Duminy off consecutive overs a short while later to leave the hosts struggling at 95/4 in the 22nd over.
That knocked the wind out of the South African batting and the hosts could never recover from there.
With the flow of runs drying up, David Miller and Khaya Zondo batted together for almost 11 overs but could only add 34 runs between them in that period.
After Miller knicked one from Bumrah to Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps, the contest was as good as over.
Earlier, Kohli slammed his 34th ODI ton to help India post a competitive total even as the visitors' untested middle order failed to click.
Continuing his glorious run in the tour, Kohli, who had slammed 112 and 46 not out in the first two ODIs, shouldered the Indian innings single-handedly.
The Delhi batsman remained unbeaten on 160 runs, smashing 12 boundaries and two sixes over the course of the 159 balls he faced in the middle.
Barring the 139-run second wicket stand with opener Shikhar Dhawan (73 off 63; 4X12), Kohli received very little support from the other batsmen, before tailender Bhuvneshwar Kumar (16 off 19; 4X1) chipped in to add an unbeaten 67 runs for the seventh wicket.
Put in to bat, India were immediately on the backfoot with opener Rohit Sharma (0) continuing his struggle at the top of the order, before Kohli and Dhawan joined forces to take the attack to the opposition.
Kohli started off vulnerably, escaping an lbw call on nought off Kagiso Rabada, thanks to a huge inside edge but settled down quickly to launch the counter attack.
Dhawan, at the other end, continued his merciless attack on the home bowlers, to bring up his 25th ODI fifty off 42 balls with a boundary off leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
South Africa's frustration was evident from the fact that the Indian pair went on to better their own record (93 runs) of the highest partnership for the second wicket against the Proteas.
Just when the Indian pair started looking invincible, part-time off-spinner Jean Paul Duminy came to the rescue of the hosts with the crucial wicket of Dhawan, who chipped wide off midwicket only to be latched on by stand-in captain Aiden Markram.
Duminy jolted India once again with the wicket of No.4 Ajinkya Rahane (11), before all-rounder Hardik Pandya (14), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (10) and Kedar Jadhav (1) made their way back in quick succession.
Precariously placed at 236/6, India could hardly dream of a total past 300, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar repeated his feats of the Test series and gave Kohli the license to hammer the South Africans at will.
For the hosts, Duminy was the pick of the bowlers returning 2/60, while Rabada, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo and Tahir chipped in with one wicket apiece.
South Africa: 179 runs in 40 overs (Jean-Paul Duminy 51; Kuldeep Yadav 4/23, Yuzvendra Chahal 4/46) vs India: 303/6 (Virat Kohli 160 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 76, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 16 not out; J.P.Duminy 2/60).