South Africa won their first ever ODI series in India after they demolished the hosts by 214 runs in the final game in Mumbai on Sunday.
It was a complete, clinical performance by the visitors to take the series 3-2 which will give them great confidence ahead of the four-match Test series.
This is already a successful tour for the Proteas after they also won the T20 series 2-0.
Chasing a massive target of 439, India never looked like getting even close as they were bowled out for 224.
Dale Steyn (3-38) and Kagiso Rabada (4-41) were again the pick of the South African bowlers, taking the bulk of the wickets to put their team firmly on top.
The pair finished the series as the joint top wicket-takers in the series with 10 victims each, while AB de Villiers scored 358 runs to be the highest run-scorer, followed by Faf du Plessis (323) and Quinton de Kock (318).
To a large extent, that explains South Africa’s success in this series, even though they failed to win two games in a row.
India lost the early wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, arguably their two best batsmen, and you sensed that it was a big psychological blow. India needed a bigger contribution from at least one of them.
But then Shikar Dhawan (60) and Ajinkya Rahane (87) shared a 128-run partnership which stabilised the chase and gave India some hope that they could get close. However, India lost Rahane and Suresh Raina in the space of two overs in a hammer blow that all but sealed their fate.
Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers all scored hundreds as South Africa posted a massive 438-4 after they won the toss.
All the talk will focus on De Villiers’ 119 off 61 deliveries, but it would be unfair to downplay the superb innings of De Kock (109 off 87) and Du Plessis (133 off 115). Du Plessis retired hurt due to severe cramp but played some eye-catching shots towards the end when he could hardly walk.
Together with De Kock they laid the platform for De Villiers to play what has become his trademark innings, pacing his innings nicely before going into AB mode and smashing the opposition bowlers into submission.
It’s always a massive score when three batsmen score hundreds in the same innings, and this was only the second time that has ever happened.
De Villiers now has the most hundreds (8) by any player off 75 balls or less. It was his 23rd ODI hundred, the most by any South African, and third of the series.
Picture: Associated Press