India beat South Africa by 7 wickets in the third ODI at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. The hosts won the three-match series 2-1. Earlier, Indian skipper Shikhar Dhawan won the toss and opted to field first, restricting the Proteas to a total of 99 runs.

 The spin combination of Washington Sundar (2/15), Shahbaz Ahmed (2/32), and Kuldeep Yadav (4/18), were able to choose the appropriate lengths on the slower Kotla pitch.

Also read: South Africa puts up 99, their lowest score against India in an ODI

In 19.1 overs, the batters for the home team, led by Shubman Gill (49), chased down a modest 100-run mark.

South Africa’s prospects of direct qualification for the ODI World Cup the following year were further compromised by the series defeat.

Pacer Mohammad Siraj (2/17) also kept up his impressive performance to support his selection to the T20 World Cup squad.

Kuldeep, a left-arm spinner who fell short of a hattrick, mopped up the tail while Washington and Shahbaz picked up wickets ahead of him.

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Kuldeep said, “Feeling happy to take four wickets, have taken four wickets after such a long time. I was trying something different before IPL, and I am enjoying my bowling since then.”

“I missed the hat-trick, could have bowled quicker. Should have changed the angle. I think Washington bowled really well. The wicket was gripping, I tried to bowl seam-up deliveries, tried to mix it up with the pace, tried to set up the batters,” Kuldeep added.

The quality of the Indian white-ball squad was on full display in the series as the second-string team came from behind to clinch the three-match series 2-1.

Also read: T20 World Cup 2022: How India’s starting XI could look like

Chasing a small total, opener Gill attacked the South African bowlers from the very first ball while skipper Shikhar Dhawan played second fiddle.

The Indians, who looked in a hurry to finish the match, lost a bit of momentum after the wickets of Dhawan, whose woeful run in the series continued as he was run out for eight, and Ishan Kishan (10).

However, Shreyas Iyer (28 not out) continued his stellar run as he whacked three boundaries and two sixes including a match-winning maximum to steer India to victory after Gill was trapped leg before with three runs needed.

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South African hitters who were earlier put in to bat fared poorly, falling like ninepins.

Quinton de Kock (6), Washington’s first victim, top-edged the ball to Avesh Khan at backward point after halfheartedly cutting it.

Reeza Hendricks (3) was caught leg before for what appeared to be India’s second wicket, but the South African appealed the umpire’s decision in the seventh over.

Before the speedster removed the opener as he attempted to play the pull shot, Janneman Malan (15) smashed Siraj for three boundaries in his subsequent overs.

When Siraj nabbed Hendricks (3) as his next victim, the South African batters continued their struggle and seemed out of sorts.

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Aiden Makram (9), whose stay in the middle lasted 19 balls, became Shahbaz Ahmed’s first victim as he nicked it through to the keeper Sanju Samson.

The visitors dallied to 50 in 17.1 overs but India was all over the visitors.

Skipper David Miller (7) and joined Heinrich Klaasen in the middle but he too couldn’t make a mark as he was bowled, the ball slid in from round the wicket to clip the outside of the off stump. Brought into the attack in the 20th over, Kuldeep too joined the party as Andile Phehlukwayo failed to read his googly.

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South Africa moved closer to the 100-run threshold thanks to a 22-run partnership between Klaasen and newcomer Marco Jansen that featured a four and a six.

After Klassen hit a boundary but before Shahbaz could dismiss him, Jansen stormed down the pitch for a six over long on.

The lower order was then swept apart by Kuldeep as South Africa was dismissed in 27.1 overs.