With the five match One Day International series tied at 2-2, the fifth match was the much anticipated final between South Africa and India. It was a head to head, make or break match for the captains AB de Villiers and MS Dhoni.
The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai was packed to capacity with 32 000 Indian fans.
Pakistani elite umpire Aleem Dar was due to officiate the match but was replaced due to threats from Hindu extremists. This followed the hostile reaction from Indian extremists when they stormed the offices of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), to stall talks with Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Shahryar Khan.
South Africa had already won the Twenty20 series against India. The second match was embroiled in controversy by the disgraceful actions of the Cuttack crowd, which started throwing bottles onto the ground when India was losing.
AB de Villiers won the toss and elected to bat first. What followed was the most electrifying display of big hitting batting we have had the pleasure to witness for awhile.
Off their 50 overs South Africa pummelled 438 runs for 4 wickets, at a run rate of 8.76 per over.
Opener Quinton de Kock blasted 109 off 87 balls with 17 fours and 1 six.
Faf du Plessis powered 133 off 115 balls, with 9 fours and 6 sixes. He finally retired hurt due to terrible leg cramps.The star of the show was the renowned big hitting captain AB de Villiers. In the carnage he inflicted on the Indian bowlers he muscled 119 runs off only 61 balls, with 3 fours and 11 sixes.
In the last ten overs an incredible 144 runs were plundered. 438 is the joint third highest ODI score in history. South Africa feature three times in the top four ODI highest scores ever.
This was only the second occasion ever in an ODI that three batsmen on one side had made centuries.
India struggled to be competitive in return, quickly falling to 44/2. Steyn and Rabada soon tore through the Indian batting line up. Only Dhawan (60 runs) and Rahane (87 runs) tried to fight back against the mammoth total, but the South African bowling onslaught was too much for them.
The rest of the batsmen easily surrendered and simply gave their wickets away. Pakistan born leg spinner Imran Tahir foxed MS Dhoni with a googly to clean bowl him for 27.
As the Indian wickets fell, the Indian supporters rapidly left the stadium before the end of the match.
India were bowled out for 224, losing by a incredible margin of 214 runs. This is India’s second largest ODI defeat in history.
In the post match ceremony 37 year old left arm seamer Zaheer Khan gave an emotional farewell speech in his home city of Mumbai, as he has recently announced his retirement from International cricket.
Man of the Match awarded to opener and wicket keeper Quinton de Kock.
Man of the Series awarded to Captain AB de Villiers.
Congratulations to South Africa on winning their first One Day International series in India. This adds to their recent Twenty20 series win against India.
Now we look forward to the four Test match series.