Malan hits 91 as South Africa keep their cool to seal ODI series win over India

By Sports Desk January 21, 2022

South Africa kept their cool against the India bowling attack and the intense heat in Paarl to win the second ODI by seven wickets and clinch the series on Friday.

Having lost the first match by 31 runs on Wednesday following a defeat in the Test series, the tourists posted 287-6 after Rishabh Pant smashed 85 off 71 balls - including 12 boundaries.

Yet any hope India had of avoiding consecutive daytime defeats for the first time since July 2018 against England was crushed by some imperious batting from the Proteas.

Janneman Malan top-scored with 91 in a 132-run opening stand with Quinton de Kock (78), who was playing in his 50th ODI on home soil.

Shardul Thakur trapped De Kock lbw but South Africa sustained their chase for another 13 overs until Jasprit Bumrah (1-32) crashed an off-cutter into the stumps off Malan's gloves just as a century looked almost certain.

Captain Temba Bavuma (35) was brilliantly caught and bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal in the next over, but although temperatures were pushing 40 degrees Celsius, there was little hotting up of the contest.

Aiden Markram (33) and Rassie van der Dussen (28) strangled the life out of India's bowling, the former hurling himself to safety to secure the winning run with 11 balls remaining, as they celebrated back-to-back victories over India in the 50-over format for the first time since December 2013.

India will look to avoid a whitewash in the final ODI at Newlands on Sunday.

ODI dominance

South Africa were on a three-game losing run against India in this format before this series, but their recent prowess overall is something to behold.

This is their fourth bilateral ODI series win out of five against India, while they have won 13 of their most recent 16 men's ODI matches at home, with their only defeats coming to Pakistan (twice in April 2021) and England (once in February 2020) in that period.

It's no lie: Pant's on fire

Pant was India's star performer with his superb knock, hitting 10 fours and two sixes to help to build a promising total until the Proteas assumed control.

His century partnership with Rahul had India looking ominous at 179-2 after 31 overs only for South Africa to pull the rug from under their feet with key wickets in successive overs.

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