South Africa v India, 3rd ODI, Centurion December 11, 2013

Rainy end in Centurion after another de Kock ton


South Africa 301 for 8 (de Villiers 109, de Kock 101, Miller 56*, Ishant 4-40) v India
Match abandoned
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

At press conferences, AB de Villiers sits next to Quinton de Kock, and watches de Kock talk with the admiration of a big brother at the success of the little one. Jokes are shared, comments are made, and fun is had. In Centurion, in similar company of the captain, de Kock joined de Villiers as one of the only five players to have score three successive centuries in ODI cricket. Not only that, de Kock broke the record for most runs in a bilateral three-match series, following which de Villiers brought up his own hundred. Looking at the ease with which they punished the Indian bowling in that 171-run stand, you could hardly tell they had come together at 28 for 3 after India had finally shown up on this tour. However, India were spared another big chase as persistent rain forced play to be called off without a ball bowled in the second innings.

That sighting of India was brief: they dropped de Kock on 37 and 43, the spinners became flat after a few good overs, and the quicks barring Ishant Sharma served up their usual length bowling in the end to concede 185 in the last 23 overs. De Villiers, in particular, was severe, doing as he wished to the bowlers on a pitch was slow and two-paced because of the moisture it had retained from all the rain over the past week.

This was India's best chance to create an impression in the series. The ball stopped, there was some seam movement and turn, and South Africa had rested Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis. All that did seem to be working for them: Hashim Amla got out to a leg-side full toss, and Henry Davids and JP Duminy fell to some seam and some extra bounce in one Ishant over. Considering the situation, de Kock might rate this century better than the previous two, but he did benefit from fielding errors in the formative stages of the partnership.

De Kock had played a few punchy drives down the ground, and it was proving to be difficult to get the timing right. As the balls became softer and spin came on, it seemed India could employ a tight hold on the batsmen. De Kock was 37 off 49 when he tried to pull an Umesh Yadav halftracker, which ended up dragging to the left of short fine leg where Ajinkya Rahane spilled it. Three overs later, he gave R Ashwin the charge, but the ball stopped a touch, and his lob went towards long-on. Yuvraj Singh ran back from mid-on, seemed to have over-run it, slowed down, got two hands to it, but never had the stability you need to catch them over your head.

De Kock was 43 then, the partnership 52, and South Africa were only just recovering. Soon, though, the fight seemed to have left the bowlers. Ravindra Jadeja wasn't effective, Ashwin began to drop short, and the runs began to flow. It was in the 28th over that the two batsmen really began to cut loose. A short ball from Ashwin was cut for four to take de Kock to 70 off 88. At 36 off 55, de Villiers, too, was about to open up. By the time the Powerplay came about, de Villiers had crossed his fifty, and de Kock was on 98, with South Africa on 168 for 3.

De Villiers just stood and swung and he got the balls to do so. There were some lovely effortless hits too, the sweep off Ashwin for six and also the chip over extra cover off the same bowler. There was one difficult chance for Yuvraj running back from mid-off, but he couldn't catch de Villiers. De Kock fell after bringing up the hundred, de Villiers too, but it failed to slow the rate down.

Shami and Yadav bowled well in the 48th and the 49th over, but both ended the overs with full tosses. David Miller was there to accept all the gifts, and his 56 off 34 took South Africa past 300.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on December 13, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    Rainy day or not in the coming tests India is definitely not even close to being favourites. And everybody please stop comparing to Pakistan. Pakistan has the best bowling attack in the world. SA has a combination of both batting and bowling that's what India lacks. India will be tetsted again with their batting but lets not count them out. Good luck to both teams!!!

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    @subboo venkat.....let SA have some records.....why u want to deprive them...where else can they make records if not at home......

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    desi hungama i dont mention pakistan bacause the are not capable of winning at even their so called home at sharjah, and you will say sharjah is not our home but remember in the mid 80 to early 2000 pakistan mostly play in sharjah, so its is not a new country for them, the most importent is the pitches are similar to pakistan.

  • Jawwad on December 12, 2013, 22:59 GMT

    Aryan. LOL. And Pakistan? So, what you are saying is Pakistan is currently the best team not having to play a single match at home and yet maintaining a winning record? Thanks. We know that and proud of our boys!

  • Ashok on December 12, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    When the batsmen depend mainly on Hand-Eye coordination, it becomes difficult to adapt to different pitch conditions fast. India clearly demonstrated this! Hence the batting failure. With 3 weeks of practice, India will do better. Unfortunately, the bowling failed as well which caused a SA run fest for the 2 openers & AB de Villiers resulting in 2-0 series loss. If the Indian openers in Tests give India a good start, India still has a chance to put up a good show & forget their ODI series as a bad dream! Ishant Sharma needs to bowl similar line & length in Tests as he did in ODI 3, India can combine his form with Shami & ZAK to keep SA batting under control. Pujara was discarded from ODI's where he was badly needed. I hope he can relive the feat of Jaisimha in Brisbane test Vs. Aussies in 1968 (scored 74 & 101 after being dropped from the Tour & recalled from India). Pujara has the footwork & technique like Jai had, which allows fast adaption to different pitches- Never say Die India!

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    India will need more of these (rains) in the coming days if they are to avoid a whitewash in test matches ahead.

  • umair on December 12, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    Its amazing Indian spinners take 10 wickets or get to 100 wickets in fewer test @ home, that too without much turn ..but abroad their average remains 40 plus. Its makes Shane warne and murali n now ajmal real spinners who get the ball to turn everywhere and take wickets. I suggest India should have a separate teams for home and abroad not for odi n tests.

  • Moh on December 12, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    @SabooVenkat, Match got abandoned but still player's individual stat's and figures count.

  • Varnendra on December 12, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    India never never never deserved high positions in any sport. Because Indian sportsmen are generally timid so when they come out of India their minds and bodies go jelly. For everyone home is better but Indian sportsman are so bad away from home.

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    No doubt SA is a world class team whom every team dreams of beating, but I still feel they are in their own bubble....likewise the Indian bubble.....but they have at least won some world tournaments recently with their popgun which SA r yet to prove their mettle with a powerhouse team......

  • No featured comments at the moment.