India beat South Africa by 78 runs to clinch ODI series 2-1

Paarl (South Africa): Sanju Samson hit a fine century as India defeated South Africa by 78 runs in the third ODI to clinch the three-match series 2-1 here on Thursday.

Sent into bat, India lost both the openers early before Samson (108 off 114 balls), which was his maiden ODI hundred, and Tilak Varma (52 off 77 balls) made useful contributions to take 296 for eight.

Rinku Singh (38 off 27) also chipped in for the visitors.

Beuran Hendricks (3/63) was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa, while Nandre Burger (2/64) also accounted for two wickets.

Chasing 297, opener Tony de Zorzi made 81 off 87 balls but none of the other Proteas batter could support him as the hosts were bowled for 218 in 45.5 overs.

For India, Arshdeep Singh (4/30), Washington Sundar (2/38) and Avesh Khan (2/45) were the main wicket takers.
Samson (108 off 114 balls) found a perfect sidekick in the patient Tilak Varma, who struck his first ODI fifty (52 off 77 balls), as they milked 116 precious runs for the fourth wicket to place India in a position to win this series.

Samson and Varma came together when India were slightly wobbling at 101 for three after being asked to bat first.
But the pair showed excellent situational awareness.

Their partnership was all about pragmatism without letting go of any opportunity to unfurl any big shot.
Usually a free-flowing hitter, Samson shelved his macho intentions for a large part of his innings, concentrating on singles and twos as the Boland Park pitch also had this slight bite on it.

But the right-hander intermittently brought out his T20 avatar into play like when he smashed pacer Nandre Burger for a big six over mid-wicket or while executing an exquisite inside-out loft over cover off left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj for a four.

His fifty came off 66 balls with a single to third man off pacer Beuran Hendricks.

But at the other end, Varma generally struggled for flow as he could find a boundary only in his 39th ball, a scratchy pull off Hendricks.
Brief Scores:

India: 296 for 8 in 50 overs (Sanju Samson 108, Tilak Varma 52; Beuran Hendricks 3/63).
South Africa: 218 all out in 45.5 overs (Tony de Zorzi 81; Arshdeep Singh 4/30).