India clinch 2-1 ODI series win against SA as Samson shines with maiden ton

Paarl: India clinched 2-1 series after they thumped South Africa by 78 runs, thanks to Sanju Samson’s maiden international century in the decider at Boland Park here on Thursday.
Sent into bat, India notched up their second-highest ODI total against the hosts under South African conditions by scoring 296/8.
India bowlers, led by Arshdeep Singh who bagged four wickets, did a fabulous job to defeat South Africa in their backyard.
Despite a good bowling show, India did not start well. Debutant Rajat Patidar was cleaned up by Nandre Burger after he smashed 22 off 16, which was embellished with a jaw-dropping six off the same bowler.
Sai Sudharsan, who scored two consecutive half-centuries, walked back into the hut after scoring just 10 as he was trapped plumb by Beuran Hendricks as India floundered at 49/2. That’s when captain KL Rahul and Sanju Samson steadied the ship, sewing up 42 runs for the third wicket.
Rahul under-edged Wiaan Mulder behind the stumps to Heinrich Klassen after scoring 21 off 35 balls, but Samson, who had reached his fifty, carried on with Tilak Varma alongside, adding a crucial 116 runs.
Tilak Varma scored at 67 strike rate, putting pressure on Samson, who was gathering runs as though he was batting on a different deck. However, the Andhra batsman started slowly, scoring 9 of his first 38 runs. His next 43 runs came in 39 balls en route to his first ODI half-century.
Samson got to his century and helped India to add 141 runs in the last 14 overs with Rinku Singh’s help who made a quickfire 38 off 27.
Hendricks was a star bowler for the Proteas as he bagged three wickets, with Keshav Maharaj ending with stingy figures of 10-2-37-1. Aiden Markram bowled his five overs for 1-37.
Reeza Hendricks and Tony de Zorzi started in good stead, putting on 59 runs for the first wicket in 9 overs. Reeza was caught by Rahul off Arshdeep Singh for 19.
Rassie van der Dussen walked in, but could not score freely, and at last, was bowled by Axar Patel after scoring 2 off 17 balls leaving Sout Africa 76/2.
Captain Markram and Zorzi stitched a 60-odd partnership for the third wicket, taking the total to 141/3 in the 26th over.
Zorzi, the last match centurion, fell soon after as Arshdeep trapped him leg-before for 81 off 87 balls with 6 boundaries and 3 sixes.
Klassen and Mulder marched back into the hut in quick succession after scoring 21 and 1, respectively.
Needing 120 runs in 12 overs, it was left to David Miller to guide South Africa closer to the target but was caught by Rahul behind the stumps off Mukesh Kumar for 10 off 20 on a sluggish pitch, leaving the hosts struggling at 192/7 in 38 overs.
Maharaj was scalped by Arshdeep caught Rinku for 14 off 27. Lizaad Williams was trapped leg-before by Arshdeep for 2, and soon Avesh Khan scalped his second wicket along with Sundar by getting Beauran Hendricks caught by Samson for 18.
UNI

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