India gave yet another pathetic batting display on seam-friendly conditions to suffer an embarrassing 134-run defeat in the second ODI against South Africa, who clinched the three-match ODI series by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead here today.
The hosts rode on the two openers, Quinton de Kock (106) and Hashim Amla (100), to pile up 280 for six in the allotted 49 overs before bundling out the hapless visitors for 146 in 35.1 overs on a gloomy day at the Kingsmead.
The famed Indian batting, which had been in tremendous form in sub-continental conditions, found the going tough against the South African pacemen, who tested them with pace and bounce. Suresh Raina (36) was the only batsman to show a bit of resistance, even as the rest surrendered meekly.
The match was reduced to 49-overs per innings due to wet outfield.
Facing a chaseable target, the Indian top order melted in the wake of some superior fast bowling from Dale Steyn and a nagging line-length bowling by Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who shared seven wickets between them. This was after de Kock and Amla shared an opening stand worth 194 runs. Amla, in the process, crossed the 4000-run mark in ODI, the quickest to do so in 81 matches and beating Sir Vivian Richards' marker of 88 ODIs.
Steyn once again unleashed great pace on the Indian top-order, peppering Shikhar Dhawan and later Virat Kohli. The former was first to fall, in the 2nd over, going after a delivery just outside the off-stump and was out caught at point. He fell for a duck, facing only two balls. Thereafter, after their war of words in the build-up to the match, Steyn welcomed Kohli to the crease with a sharp bouncer.
The Indian vice-captain didn't last long enough to give a proper response, edging Tsotsobe to the keeper, while he was trying to guide a delivery to third man. The ball moved away just a touch at the last minute, enough to kiss the open face of his bat and Kohli returned to the pavilion for a duck. Pretty much, all Indian hopes faded with his departure.
Ajinkya Rahane had come into the side for Yuvraj Singh (suffering from a back spasm) and tried to rebuild the innings with Rohit Sharma.
Rahane looked relatively comfortable against Morne Morkel, introduced into the attack in place of Steyn. At the other end, Rohit too got off to a start, unlike in Johannesburg, and