Cricket 7.2.2018 04:46 pm

Virat Kohli’s stunner undermines a decent Proteas effort

India's Virat Kohli (L) celebrates his century during the One Day International (ODI) cricket match between India and South Africa, at Newland Stadium, on February 7, 2018, in Cape Town.  / AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH

India's Virat Kohli (L) celebrates his century during the One Day International (ODI) cricket match between India and South Africa, at Newland Stadium, on February 7, 2018, in Cape Town. / AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH

The Indian skipper scores more than half his side’s runs at Newlands as the hosts again fail to contain him.

The Proteas will still have to chase a substantial 304 in the third ODI against India at Newlands on Wednesday but at least they can take pride in the fact their target was pretty much down to Virat Kohli.

The visitors’ captain was once again magnificent in crafting an unbeaten 160 off 159 deliveries.

It was more than half of his side’s total, a supreme effort where he played responsibly without ever becoming bogged down.

On a big ground, his placement was expert and his running energetic but he dish out some punishment from time to time with his 11 fours and a sublime six in the last over.

He was caught on the boundary in the 49th over when David Miller brilliantly at long-on before his momentum took him over the rope.

It could’ve been so much different had Kagiso Rabada trapped Kohli in front when he was still on 0.

He had walked across his stumps but the pace of the Proteas’ premier quick got the better of him and he was trapped LBW.

Kohli was actually reluctant to review but to his own surprise, replays showed an edge.

The took full advantage.

South Africa will be unhappy with their bowling in the first 25 overs, gifting opener Shikhar Dhawan too many freebies on his way to a cracking 76 off just 63.

The second-wicket partnership of 140 was particularly frustrating given that the tiresome Rabada (1/54) had Rohit Sharma caught behind in the third over.

But the Proteas fought back in second part of the innings with JP Duminy proving an unexpected trump card in taking the vital wickets of Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane.

Chris Morris (1/45) also impressed with his control until Rabada’s iffy death bowling cost South Africa again as Kohli finished with a flourish.

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