Proteas sublime in Mumbai

There aren’t enough adjectives to describe South Africa’s batting effort at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.

Centuries from the trio of Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers were the catalyst to their eventual 214-run win over their hosts to claim a first ever bilateral series win.

Throughout the series, one which saw the momentum swing between the two sides with the regularity of a pendulum, a number of Proteas squad members spoke about the fact that they were yet to play the perfect game of cricket.

It came on a balmy evening in Mumbai.

 

After winning the toss De Kock and Hashim Amla added 33 for the first wicket before the latter departed, but not before becoming the fastest batsmen to 6 000 limited overs runs, and from there on out the runs came often.

Du Plessis’ exertions eventually resulted in him having to leave the field. His legs gave way and at times he fell to the pitch but his innings of 133 off 115 deliveries was one of the pivots to South Africa’s success.

Not only was the eventual 438/4 the highest ever total by a team in India it was also only the second occasion that a team has had three centuries in an innings – the first was when South Africa blitzed the West Indies attack at the Wanderers in January.

But the bowlers were not to be outdone on the day with Kagiso Rabada demonstrating once again why he is considered to be the hottest fast-bowling prospect in the world with figures of 4/41 in seven overs.

Rabada first picked up the  vital wicket of Virat Kohli and then broke the third wicket partnership of 112 that had developed between Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane. Suresh Raina became his third victim after a clever ploy resulted in the left-hander being bowled. He then had Amit Mishra trapped leg-before to wrap up the victory for the South Africans.

There was also a return of 3/38 for Dale Steyn as he tormented the Indian attack with his pace while Imran Tahir picked up two scalps and Kyle Abbott – in his first appearance of the series – picked up 1/39.

The eventual winning margin was the biggest by a South African side against India, bettering the previous mark of 157 in match played in Durban in 2006.

After claiming both the T20 and limited overs series trophies the Proteas will begin their campaign for the clean sweep when the Test series begin on November 5.

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