Virat Kohli and India’s spinners hammered South Africa again on Wednesday in the latest episode of a one-sided ODI series, winning the third game by 124 runs to go 3-0 up with three to play.
Kohli was colossal to make 160 not out from 159 balls - his second century of the series - and lead India to 303-6 after South Africa put the tourists in to bat.
In a repeat of the first two games, South Africa couldn’t deal with India spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who took eight wickets between them at Newlands as the home team was bundled out for 179 in 40 overs.
South Africa started the series as the No. 1 ODI team in the world and India No. 2 but those positions have been quickly reversed.
India came to South Africa on a compelling run of one-day form following eight successive series victories but even that didn’t indicate how dominant it would be in the first three games.
South Africa had won 17 straight ODI games at home before losing to India by six wickets and then nine wickets in the first two matches.
Wednesday’s performance was even more compelling by India.
Kohli came to the crease at the end of the first over and again dominated his team’s total with a brilliant one-day innings. Shikhar Dhawan’s 76 in a 140-run partnership for the second wicket was also a significant part of the Indian effort.
India captain Kohli, though, has been in consistently outstanding form on tour in South Africa, and his century was his second in the three one-day games against South Africa and his third in his last four ODIs.
He made 112 and 46 not out in the first two games of this series. Kohli hit 12 fours and two sixes in this one, finishing the innings with a big six over midwicket and a thumping four down the ground from the final two balls. Those boundaries took India past 300 and improved Kohli’s strike rate to better than a run a ball.
South Africa had pulled it back at Newlands after Dhawan was out to a diving catch by stand-in skipper Aiden Markram off spinner JP Duminy (2-60) to break India’s best partnership.
Prompted by that breakthrough, South Africa took five wickets for 96 runs to slow what was an Indian onslaught when Kohli and Dhawan were together.
India finished strongly, though, led of course by Kohli. He combined with Bhuvneshwar Kumar for an unbeaten 67-run partnership off 44 balls. Kohli made 43 of those runs from just 25 deliveries in India’s last stand.