Paarl/South Africa: India lost grip at Boland Park stadium once again as South Africa (SA) took the game, winning the three-match series for 2-0 and further pushing the visitors down to a fourth straight loss in the tour. After India's mid-order batters slumped again, SA met the fair target of 288 with 11 deliveries and seven wickets in hand.
India had a decent start with Shikhar Dhawan (29 from 38) and KL Rahul (55 from 79), but the former fell in the 12th over. After Dhawan, Virat Kohli left for duck, and Rishab Pant entered while India struggled to score. KL Rahul gave the reigns to Pant while the latter went for his power shots. In the meantime, Rahul survived thrice after he was dropped twice and saved himself from a run-out.
India was on the green side until the 32nd over at 179 for 2, but after it lost both Pant and Rahul in consecutive overs. Pant had scored 85 of 71 with 10 boundaries and 2 sixes, while KL Rahul left at 55 with four boundaries. Shardul Thakur (40 from 38) and Ravichandran Ashwin (25 from 24) put their best in the tail end. The former, who fought well in the last match too, picked 3 boundaries when the latter 1, but both hit a six each.
Chasing, SA opener Quinton de Kock (78 from 66) punished anyone who threw him a ball even from the start before he was caught in the leg before wicket. However, he had already smashed 7 boundaries and 3 sixes. On the other end, Janneman Malan (91 from 108) looked for poor balls. He used the pace of bowlers and found gaps against spinners shattering Indian resistance. Both attained a century partnership, the eighth opening century partnership India conceded in the last 23 ODIs since the 2019 ODI World Cup, ESPN reports. After the duo left, SA was in a comfortable zone, needing just 76 from 92 balls. And Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram saw to that.