South Africa vs India 2nd ODI: South Africa seal series in dominant fashion behind de Kock and Amla’s centuries

     

Images courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

De Kock and Amla guided South Africa to an impressive 134-run win

South Africa’s opening duo of Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock both scored centuries as the Proteas dominated India for a second consecutive game, demolishing them by 134 runs in Durban to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Following Amla and de Kock’s centuries, South Africa’s pace attack tore through India’s batting line-up with relative ease.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss, which was delayed by approximately 45 minutes, and decided to bowl first due to the overcast conditions.

Due to the delay, the match was reduced to 49 overs a side.

Dhoni’s decision to bowl first backfired as South Africa’s opening pair of Amla and de Kock put together an outstanding 194-run partnership, during which de Kock brought up his third ODI century and Amla his half-century, before de Kock was caught by Rohit Sharma at square leg off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin for 106.

De Kock’s brilliant knock of 106 came off 118 balls and included nine boundaries.

De Kock became only the third South African opener in history to score back-to-back ODI centuries.

The other two batsmen who accomplished this feat were Herschelle Gibbs in 2002 and Amla in 2010.

De Kock is also the fourth batsman in ODI history to score three centuries before turning 21.

The other three are Ireland’s Paul Stirling and Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal and Shahriar Nafees.

Amla and de Kock’s 194-run partnership is now the highest first-wicket stand at Durban, beating Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist’s 170-run partnership against South Africa in April 2002.

It is also South Africa’s second-highest opening partnership behind Gibbs and Gary Kirsten’s 235-run stand against India in Kochi in March 2000.

South Africa skipper AB de Villiers failed to have an impact with the bat as he was stumped by Dhoni off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja for just three runs.

Amla registered his 12th ODI century, during which he became the fastest batsman to score 4,000 ODI runs, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Mohammed Shami for 100 off 117 deliveries, which included eight boundaries.

Amla also become the fastest batsman to score 12 ODI centuries, taking him 81 innings, while Virat Kohli, who was the previous record holder, took 83 innings.

Amla and de Kock became the first South African openers to both score centuries since March 2000, when Gibbs and Kirsten smashed centuries against India in Kochi.

David Miller was on his way back to the pavilion just three balls later as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Shami for a duck.

Jean Paul (JP) Duminy managed to score a quickfire 26 before he was run out, while veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis could only amass 10 runs before having his leg stump uprooted by Shami.

South Africa were able to reach 280 off their 49 overs, thanks to Vernon Philander, who smashed 14 runs off five balls, which included three boundaries, and Ryan McLaren, who hammered 12 runs off five deliveries, which included one boundary and a six.

Shami was the pick of the Indian bowlers with three wickets, while Ashwin and Jadeja snapped up one wicket apiece.

Chasing a tough target of 281 to level the series, India got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan was caught by Duminy at point for a duck off the bowling of Dale Steyn. 

Kohli was dismissed the very next over when he was caught behind off the bowling of Lonwabo Tsotsobe for a duck as well.

Rohit Sharma managed to score 19 runs before he was caught by Amla at short midwicket to become Tsotsobe’s second victim of the day.

Things went from bad to worse for India in the very next over as Ajinkya Rahane was caught behind off the bowling of Morne Morkel for eight runs.

Dhoni was only able to accumulate 19 runs before being brilliantly caught by de Kock behind the stumps off the bowling of Philander.

Suresh Raina, who was India’s top-scorer with 36 runs, was the next to go as he was the victim of a stunning catch by Miller at cover.

Despite valiant efforts from Ashwin, who scored 15, and Jadeja, who smashed 26 runs, India were bowled out for a dismal 146, handing South Africa a convincing 134-run win and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

India’s 134-run loss is the fourth-highest defeat they have suffered at the hands of South Africa.

Tsotsobe was the most successful South African bowler with four wickets, while Steyn picked up three, Morkel snapped up two and Philander chipped in with one.

Dhoni was disappointed to have lost the series and was disgusted with India’s batting performance as well.

“The bowlers did well,” he said. “They learnt from the last time, but the batsmen played too many shots. I think the shot selection was not right. The SA attack are very accurate and they keep bowling in the same areas and that’s what makes them different.

“Overall, there was not much for the bowlers, not much seam or swing, so that’s why I say they bowled well. The pitch was a nice one and the target was a decent one, and we didn’t execute our plans with the bat. I don’t get too much worried about the losses, how we stand up from here is what i want to see. That will test our character.”

De Villiers dedicated the series win to former president Nelson Mandela, who passed away at the age of 95 last Thursday.

“It was a very emotional day and I am glad we came out here and played good cricket,” he said. “We have been searching for consistency for a long time and to do it against the No 1 team is a job well done. Quinton and Hash have been very good up front, we struggled towards the end. I though 230-240 was par score, so to get 280 was very good. Quinton de Kock is a very aggressive player, the day I met him, I thought this guys will go far.”

De Kock was named Man of the Match for his second consecutive century.

“It’s very satisfying,” he said. “During tough times, people hate you, so in times like these, you have to enjoy yourselves. I was not so happy to take Dhoni’s catch because at that stage, we were looking to get to the 20 over mark and I thought we didn’t need a wicket then.”

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