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Kohli breaks another record to slay South Africa

A much-depleted South Africa had no answer to India and Virat Kohli as the star batsman hit top gear once again in Centurion.

NEWS
16 Feb 2018, 23:20 IST
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Kohli - cropped
Virat Kohli celebrates century against South Africa

Virat Kohli ended yet another masterful showing with a spot in the record books as a customary century in a successful chase helped India seal a 5-1 one-day international series victory in South Africa.

India have gained a measure of revenge for their 2-1 Test defeat over the past few weeks, ruthlessly dominating a depleted Proteas, with this eight-wicket triumph in Centurion not even the series' most one-sided contest.

Kohli's 129 not out took his series tally to 553, surpassing the previous record for a bilateral series set by team-mate Rohit Sharma, who plundered 491 runs against Australia in 2013.

The skipper has already added more than 800 runs to his tallies across all formats in 2018, moving his career total beyond 17,000 - a milestone reached quicker than anyone before him.

No situation seems to bring Kohli to life quite like batting second in a 50-over contest, this ton was his 21st in such circumstances. He has another 14 when batting first.

Kohli brought up three figures with a glorious straight drive - having moved past 50 in similar fashion - and raised his hands triumphantly, with victory already a certainty.

South Africa have been unable to follow up their Test series victory in the 50-over arena, although their struggles have been greatly influenced by the absence of a host of injured key players, including captain Faf du Plessis.

They were rolled out for 204 here, Khaya Zondo's maiden half-century in international cricket the only contribution of note.

Zondo's 54 came off 74 balls and only the thrashing Morne Morkel (20) posted a strike rate of above 100 for the hosts.

Such struggles were put into sharp contrast when Kohli strode to the crease with India 19-1 after Rohit perished to Lungi Ngidi for 15.

Kohli whipped his first ball through the leg side for four to set the tone and he continued to pepper the boundary with consummate ease, moving beyond 50 from just 36 deliveries with a piercing drive down the ground off Chris Morris.

Only Imran Tahir came close to slowing Kohli down, but the leg-spinner's introduction only prompted the captain to farm the strike as he shared an unbroken 126-run union with Ajinkya Rahane (34 not out).

Another straight drive, this time off Tahir, took Kohli to his 35th ODI hundred and the captain thumped his chest as the Centurion crowd stood to applaud another champion performance.

Victory was not far behind and it was fitting that once again the ball was sent to the long-off boundary by Kohli to bring South Africa's torture to an end.

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