Sharma, Yadav help India clinch first-ever series in South Africa

Men in Blue register 73-run win in the fifth ODI of the six-match series

Rohit Sharma’s brilliant innings which was backed up Kuldeep Yadav brilliant bowling performance helped India register their first-ever ODI series in South Africa with a 73-run win in the fifth of the six-match series in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.The day started with the home side stand-in captain Aiden Markram winning the toss and opting to bowl first.

His decision proved a disastrous one as India posted more than respectable total of 274 for the loss of seven wickets in their allotted 50 overs.The star of the show was opener Sharma, who was in terrible form before the match, but managed to score his 17th century in the 50-over format and finished the innings with the top score of 115 off 126 with the help of 11 fours and four sixes.

For South Africa, young pacers Lungi Ngidi was the pick of the bowlers as he claimed four wickets and gave away 51 runs in nine overs.

Chasing 275 to stay alive in the series, South Africa had a solid opening partnership of 52 runs. However, once captain Markram departed after scoring run-a-ball 32, the home side lost three wickets in quick succession and were reduced to 65 for three.

A 62-run fourth-wicket partnership between veteran opener Hashim Amla and left-hander David Miller kept the home team alive in the competition, but once Miller departed in the 27th over, the home side could not recover and were eventually bowled out for just 201 in the 43rd over.

Amla finished the top score of 71 off 92 with the help of five fours, whereas Miller and last-match hero wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen scored 36 and 39 respectively.For India, left-arm chinaman Yadav was the pick of the bowlers, as he claimed four wickets and gave 57 runs in his 10 overs.For his outstanding batting performance, Sharma was named the player of the match.

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