India wrapped up their white-ball series in South Africa with an impressive performance on Thursday. Leading under KL Rahul’s guidance and missing several regular players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah, the visiting team secured a 2-1 win against South Africa, who fielded at least six World Cup squad members.

Sanju Samson, after eight years since his debut, marked his maiden international century, while Arshdeep Singh showcased his excellence with a four-wicket haul in the crucial decider at Boland Park in Paarl. India emerged victorious by a significant margin of 78 runs, making Rahul only the second Indian captain to secure an ODI series win in South Africa after Kohli.

The match also witnessed a viral moment during South Africa’s batting innings. When all-rounder Keshav Maharaj walked in to bat with the team struggling at 177 for six, the speakers played the song ‘Ram Siya Ram’. Rahul, doubling as a wicketkeeper, humorously pointed this out to Maharaj, who confirmed it with a smile.

India faced early setbacks in their innings, losing debutant Rajat Patidar and Sai Sudharsna within the powerplay after a modest start of 34 runs from the opening pair. However, Samson partnered with skipper KL Rahul, followed by a robust 116-run stand with youngster Tilak Varma. Samson’s splendid innings, culminating in his maiden ODI century, propelled India to 296 for eight in their 50 overs.

In response, despite Tony de Zorzi’s efforts (who had scored a century in the second ODI), South Africa faced a collapse. Arshdeep halted de Zorzi at 81 off 87, and with little support from the rest of the lineup, South Africa succumbed, bundled out for 218 with 25 balls remaining.

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India’s comprehensive win was a testament to their depth and resilience, securing a memorable series victory in South Africa despite missing key players, marking an impressive chapter in their white-ball campaign abroad.