Rohit Sharma ended a personal South African hoodoo and set up a series win for India in the fifth one-day international at St George’s Park on Tuesday.
Sharma’s 115 was his first major innings in three tours of South Africa – and India’s 73-run win enabled the tourists to take a winning 4-1 lead in the six-match series, their first success in seven bilateral or multi-team series in South Africa.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to have created some history,” said Indian captain Virat Kohli, who praised what he described as a “complete performance” by his team.
“The guys really got stuck in, with the bat and the ball and in the field as well.”
South Africa’s chances of overhauling India’s 274 for seven plummeted when they lost their first three wickets inside the first 13 overs. Hardik Pandya struck crucial blows by dismissing JP Duminy and AB de Villiers.
Hashim Amla played a measured innings of 71 and shared partnerships of 62 with David Miller and 39 with Heinrich Klaasen. He was run out by a direct hit from Pandya, effectively ending the home team’s hopes.
Indian wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were effective on a slow pitch, taking four and two wickets respectively.
“Our batting wasn’t up to scratch,” said South African captain Aiden Markram. “We lost wickets in clumps. But we have to give credit to India, they’re playing incredibly well.”