India lose 3rd test against S Africa by 4 runs

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India failed to win even a single ODI in a three-series contest against South Africa despite Deepak Chahar’s scintillating 34-ball 54, losing the third One-day International by four runs in Cape Town on Sunday to end a disastrous tour of South Africa.

South Africa were all out for 287 after Quinton de Kock’s attacking hundred and Rassie van der Dussen’s fluent half-century. In reply, India were all out for 283 in 49.2 overs, completely mis-handling a chase that should have been completed smoothly. Having taken two wickets with the ball, Chahar blazed away with the bat and hit five fours and two sixes, but his effort was not enough in the end.

All in all, the tour turned out to be one of the most disappointing outings for India in recent years, especially after having blanked the Proteas in their backyard in 2018.

Looking to restore some pride in their last match of the tour, India overhauled their playing XI by making as many as four changes, bringing in Suryakumar Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Deepak Chahar and Prasidh Krishna.

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The ones to miss out were Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Venkatesh Iyer and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The changes did not bring about a change in India’s fortunes as Suryakumar was dismissed for 39 off 32 balls.

India were last clean swept in an away ODI series by New Zealand (0-3) in 2020 under Virat Kohli.

Incidentally, Rohit Sharma was absent from that series too, with a hamstring injury.

On Sunday, Kohli made a 65 off 84 balls, while opener Shikhar Dhawan struck a 73-ball 61, both scoring their second fifties of the three-match series. And it should have been India’s game as it seemed for a good part but the side simply bungled it in the closing stages despite being well ahead on the asking rate thanks to Chahar’s blitzkrieg.

Earlier, De Kock struck 124 off 130 balls and added 144 runs for the fourth wicket with van der Dussen before India put the brakes on the home team’s scoring by sending back both the batters in quick succession.

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With his sixth ODI century, de Kock equalled AB de Villiers’ record of scoring the most hundreds against India by a South African.

KL Rahul’s decision to bowl first worked straightaway as Deepak Chahar (2/53) had opener Janneman Malan (1) caught behind with just eight runs on the board at the start of the third over.

A direct hit from India skipper KL Rahul from mid-off, ended his in-form counterpart Temba Bavuma’s brief stay in the middle as the batter failed to reach the non-striker’s end in time.

Bavuma making his way back to the dressing room for eight runs was another big break for India as the South Africa captain had scored a century in the opening fixture and also looked solid in the second outing.