Virat Kohli colossal again as India smash South Africa in Cape Town

India's Virat Kohli celebrates his century at Newlands in Cape Town as India smash South Africa to go 3-0 up in the six-game series. (REUTERS)
Updated 07 February 2018
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Virat Kohli colossal again as India smash South Africa in Cape Town

CAPE TOWN: Virat Kohli and India’s spinners hammered South Africa again on Wednesday in the latest episode of a one-sided ODI series, winning the third game by 124 runs to go 3-0 up with three to play.
Kohli was colossal to make 160 not out from 159 balls — his second century of the series — and lead India to 303-6 after South Africa put the tourists in to bat.
In a repeat of the first two games, South Africa couldn’t deal with India spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who took eight wickets between them at Newlands as the home team was bundled out for 179 in 40 overs.
South Africa started the series as the No. 1 ODI team in the world and India No. 2 but those positions have been quickly reversed.
India came to South Africa on a compelling run of one-day form following eight successive series victories but even that didn’t indicate how dominant it would be in the first three games.
South Africa had won 17 straight ODI games at home before losing to India by six wickets and then nine wickets in the first two matches.
Wednesday’s performance was even more compelling by India.
Kohli came to the crease at the end of the first over and again dominated his team’s total with a brilliant one-day innings. Shikhar Dhawan’s 76 in a 140-run partnership for the second wicket was also a significant part of the Indian effort.
India captain Kohli, though, has been in consistently outstanding form on tour in South Africa, and his century was his second in the three one-day games against South Africa and his third in his last four ODIs.
He made 112 and 46 not out in the first two games of this series. Kohli hit 12 fours and two sixes in this one, finishing the innings with a big six over midwicket and a thumping four down the ground from the final two balls. Those boundaries took India past 300 and improved Kohli’s strike rate to better than a run a ball.
South Africa had pulled it back at Newlands after Dhawan was out to a diving catch by stand-in skipper Aiden Markram off spinner JP Duminy (2-60) to break India’s best partnership.
Prompted by that breakthrough, South Africa took five wickets for 96 runs to slow what was an Indian onslaught when Kohli and Dhawan were together.
India finished strongly, though, led of course by Kohli. He combined with Bhuvneshwar Kumar for an unbeaten 67-run partnership off 44 balls. Kohli made 43 of those runs from just 25 deliveries in India’s last stand.


Naomi Osaka shocked as Kristina Mladenovic downs world No. 1 in Dubai

Updated 44 min 42 sec ago
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Naomi Osaka shocked as Kristina Mladenovic downs world No. 1 in Dubai

  • It was Osaka's first match since she won the Australian Open — her second consecutive Grand Slam title.
  • World No. 67 Mladenovic lost for words after surprise win.

DUBAI: Naomi Osaka stumbled badly in her first match since winning the Australian Open as the world number one went down in a flurry of errors to exit the Dubai Championships on Tuesday.
Dubai-based Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic claimed a 6-3, 6-3 victory to reach the third round as Osaka made 25 unforced errors.
The rout, which featured seven breaks of the Osaka serve, took barely an hour, sending Mladenovic into a Wednesday contest with Carla Suarez Navarro.
“This is my home tournament, I live here,” world No. 67 Mladenovic said. “It’s great to get a win like this in front of a big crowd.
“Beating the number one is always special.”
The second set was riddled with seven consecutive breaks of serve before Mladenovic finished off the job with a winner to the empty court on match point.
Osaka stunned the tennis world last week by announcing her split from coach Sascha Bajin despite winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles at the US and Australian Opens.
She said earlier this week that she would not prioritize “success over happiness” when asked about the sacking, and she never looked like winning in Dubai as she also served five double faults.
Earlier on Tuesday, Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova both won their opening matches, while Elina Svitolina made a strong start to her bid for a third straight title.
Kvitova, the 2013 winner, recovered from losing a first-set tiebreak to defeat Katerina Siniakova 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-4 and squeeze into the third round.
Halep, Dubai champion in 2015, saw off 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
The Romanian said she is still feeling the effects of her weekend final defeat in Doha by Elize Mertens.
“It was a good match because I won it. I tried to finish the points faster because I’m a little bit tired,” Halep said.
“She played well, the level was pretty good. At some points I really ran very well. I’m confident. I feel good on court even if I’m tired.”
A third former world number one also advanced as Angelique Kerber beat Dalila Jakupovic 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.
Kvitova, Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, said she was unfazed about the early midday start to her match.
“I don’t really care if I play the first match,” the Australian Open runner-up said. “Now I’m done, so I have a free afternoon.
“I’m not sure what I’m pleased with... maybe with my comeback at the end.”