Rain washed out the second innings of the third and final one-dayer at Centurion on Wednesday, just when the match seemed to be shaping into a real nailbiter.
Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers hit centuries while Ishant Sharma picked up his 100th ODI wicket in an exciting first
Put in to bowl, India wrested the advantage early, removing the top tree South African batsmen within the first 10 overs. But then de Villiers (109) and de Kock (101) stitched together a partnership of 171 runs. Though they started off playing it safe, hitting only safe shots, both settled down eventually and took the fight right back to the Indian camp.
Kock's third consecutive ton in the series, which puts him firmly in line for the man of the tournament trophy, is commendable because it came at a time when the hosts found themselves in a tough spot, for the first time in the series.
The two chances that the Indians missed to dismiss de Kock, once when he was dropped by ajinkya Rahane on 37 and then when he was dropped again by Yuvraj Singh on 43, are cost them dearly.
However, de Villiers' captain's knock was remarkable for its belligerence. He struck six fours and five sixes to reach his 109 in 101 balls.
Towards the end, a quickfire 56 (34 balls, 5X4, 3X6) got the hosts just past 300, setting a competitive 302 for the visitors to chase in 50 overs at 6.04 runs per over.
For the India bowlers, Ishant was the pick of the lot, taking for for 40 in his 10 overs. This is his second best performance so far. He also bowled a stunning double wicket maiden eigth over.
First to go was Henry Davids (1) who tried to defend a length ball but ended up giving an edge to Suresh Raina at second slip. Two balls later JP Duminy couldn't get in line of the ball and ended up giving Raina another catch at the same position, leaving for a duck.
Later in the day, in the 38th over, Ishant gave India a crucial breakthrough when a leg cutter finally went through the defences of de Kock and rattled his leg stump.
Mohammed Shami, though a little expensive, giving away 69 runs in his ten overs, picked up three wickets. Umesh Yadav picked up the eigth.
The spinners could not get much purchase off the pitch though and were hit around the park, bleeding 133 runs in 21 overs.
Commentary, South Africa innings:
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