Cenurion: Young paceman Shardul Thakur made his first appearance in the series count with a four-wicket haul as India yet again choked the South African batsmen, dismissing them for a below-par 204 in the sixth and final One-Day International, here on Friday.
India were comfortably placed at 130 for 2 in 20 overs with Virat Kohli (72) and Ajinkya Rahane (16) at the crease. The visitors required 75 runs to win when this edition went to bed.
Earlier, Thakur (4/52), playing in place of rested Bhuvneshwar Kumar, picked his best figures in ODI cricket in this third match.
Spinners Kuldeep Yadav (1/51) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/38) finished with 33 wickets together in this six-match series.
Aiden Markram (24) and Hashim Amla (10) made another sedate start. Thakur was impressive in his first spell, even though Markram took him for two boundaries to start off proceedings.
Jasprit Bumrah (2/24) kept a check on the scoring with his guile at the other end. The duo added 23 runs for the opening wicket before Amla was caught behind, pulling down leg side off a short ball from Thakur. The pacer struck for a second time within the first power-play as a clever change of pace foxed Markram completely and he simply chipped a catch to Shreyas Iyer at cover.
It brought dangerous AB de Villiers (30) and Khaya Zondo (54 runs) to the crease, and they rebuilt the innings with a 62-run partnership for the third wicket.
Zondo was even harsh on Chahal and smacked him for two sixes in an over. It was perhaps the liveliest session of batting from South Africa in this series, barring their late assault during the Pink ODI....