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Sanju Samson’s maiden ODI Hundred,India wins ODI series 2-1

India beats South Africa by 78 runs, wins series 2-1 earlier ,In the third ODI and series-decider match between India and South Africa, India set a challenging target of 297 courtesy of Sanju Samson’s maiden ODI Hundred and Rinku Singh’s spectacular finish to the innings.

Opting to bowl first, South African skipper Aiden Markram had hoped for early breakthroughs, and debutant Rajat Patidar showed promise with an aggressive start. However, his innings was cut short at 22 by Nandre Burger.

B Sai Sudharsan, Patidar’s opening partner, fell prey to Beuran Hendricks in the eighth over, leaving India at 49/2 at the end of the first powerplay. The responsibility then fell on the shoulders of skipper Lokesh Rahul and the in-form Sanju Samson to steady the ship. The duo meticulously rebuilt the innings, showcasing a partnership that added 52 runs.

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Wiaan Mulder managed to break this crucial stand, dismissing Rahul for 21 in the 19th over. Tilak Varma, the young batter, initially struggled to find his rhythm, causing a dip in the run rate. Samson, however, remained composed and reached his fifty off 66 balls. However, a stunning turnaround began with the entrance of Sanju Samson, who combined forces with Tilak Varma to script a brilliant 116-run partnership for the third wicket. With boundaries becoming scarce, Varma eventually found his groove before falling for 52.

Sanju Samson’s previous career high of 86 came in a 2022 home game against South Africa, but his inability to score in the three figures over 15 games frequently hurt him when it came to being picked. With a well-timed knock to seize the initiative in the pivotal series finale, Samson ended that drought.

Samson, in particular, showcased his class and determination as he notched up his maiden ODI century, a milestone that added a special glow to India’s innings. His composed innings of 108 runs off 114 balls laid the foundation for a strong finish.

The momentum gained during Samson and Varma’s partnership was effectively sustained by the subsequent batsmen. Rinku Singh, in a crucial cameo towards the end, played an exceptional innings of 38 runs, injecting a late burst of energy into the Indian innings. His aggressive stroke play in the death overs contributed significantly to India’s surge, ensuring that the team added an impressive 93 runs in the last 10 overs.

In the death overs, Rinku Singh’s aggressive play and contributions from Washington Sundar (14) propelled India to a formidable total of 296/8.

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