South Africa defeated India by a slender margin of 4 runs in the 3rd ODI which went down the wire. Having set a target of 288, the Temba Bavuma-led side restricted the visitors to 283 in Cape Town and completed an emphatic series whitewash. Having already lost the Test and ODI series, India - who looked for a consolation win today - saw a repeat of their batsmen not living up to the expectations.
With captain KL Rahul being dismissed early, senior batters Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli revived the innings with their steady partnership and they were looking in control. Andile Phehlukwayo, however, ended the 98-run stand between Dhawan and Kohli when he got rid of Dhawan (61) and got the wicket of Rishabh Pant in the same over. From 116/1, the Indians were 118/3 and the hosts pulled things back brilliantly when Pant departed for a golden duck.
Kohli then went on to notch up a fighting fifty and it looked like the ‘chase-master' was back at it as he tried to revive the innings with Shreyas Iyer. But he was dismissed by Keshav Maharaj for 65 as he mistimed the quicker one from the spinner. With that, the wait for Kohli's 71st international ton just grew longer.
India's middle-order turned out to be another major letdown as Iyer (26) and Suryakumar Yadav (39) - who had an opportunity to shine - succumbed to the scoreboard pressure. Deepak Chahar (54) showed some fighting spirit with a quickfire fifty and forged a partnership of 55 runs for the eighth wicket with Bumrah and brought India tantalisingly close to the win. Chahar, however, threw his wicket at a crucial stage and in the end, SA bowlers held on to their nerves to prevent India from crossing the finish line. Indians are still searching for their first win of 2022.
Earlier in the day, Quinton de Kock smashed his 17th ODI ton but a spirited bowling effort in the death overs from India resulted in the hosts getting bundled out for the first time in the series.
Quinton De Kock and Rassie van der Dussen stitched a 144-run stand for the 4th wicket and once again highlighted India's inability to pick up wickets in the middle-overs. Indians, however, came back strongly in the death overs and restricted Proteas to 287.