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SA vs IND: Arshdeep, Samson lead India to historic series win in South Africa

SA vs IND: Arshdeep, Samson lead India to historic series win in South Africa

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KL Rahul became only the second Indian captain to win an ODI series on South African soil as Team India beat the rainbow nation by 78 runs, claiming the series 2-1 in Paarl on Thursday. The only other captain to have achieved this feat is Virat Kohli, when his men clinched the ODI series 5-1 back in 2018.

After being asked to bat first, Samson’s first century in Indian colors lifted the team to a strong 296 for 8 in the first innings. However, the total seemed within reach of South Africa while Tony de Zorzi was at the crease. He crunched 81 in 87 balls to keep the hosts on course, ensuring the runs flowed even as South Africa lost Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen early.

Zorzi smacked six fours and three sixes before Arshdeep’s yorker ended his stay in the 30th over. Arshdeep, who dismissed Hendricks with the new ball and then Keshav Maharaj and Lizaad Williams in his final spell, finished with 4 for 30 after a clinical bowling display. After an initial lack of control with the new ball, Arshdeep made up for it later by effectively getting the ball to nip across to the right-handers.

Washington, playing the final ODI for the rested Kuldeep Yadav, bowled tidily on a surface that assisted spin and accounted for Wiaan Mulder. More importantly, he had Aiden Markram caught behind attempting a reverse sweep for 36. Markram’s wicket in the 26th over, four overs before de Zorzi’s dismissal, effectively started the slide that the hosts never managed to shake off.

With Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan also picking off David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen respectively soon after, South Africa went from 131 for 3 to 192 for 7 in the space of 12.1 overs. Eventually, South Africa were bowled out for 218 in 45.5 overs. Washington finished with 2 for 38, even outperforming his senior spin partner Axar Patel (1 for 48), to complement Arshdeep’s match-winning spell of 4 for 30. Sanju Samson was declared ‘Player of the Match’ for his mature hundred, while Arshdeep bagged the ‘Player of the Series’ honour.

The action now shifts to the longest format of the game, with India taking on South Africa in the Boxing Day Test after a decade.

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