PRETORIA (Reuters) - India’s Virat Kohli set a new batting record as he put on another masterclass with an unbeaten century against hosts South Africa on Friday to secure an easy eight-wicket victory and win the one-day international series 5-1. India strode to a comfortable win at Centurion as they reached their victory target with 107 balls to spare after putting South Africa into bat and bowling them out for 204.
India, who have taken over from South Africa as the world’s top-ranked ODI team, were 206 for two wickets in reply in another dominant performance with captain Kohli again leading from the front.
He scored 129 not out to set a new record for the most runs in a six-match ODI series.
Kohli reached his 35th ODI tonne in just 82 balls, was dropped on 103 and finished the six-matches with a total of 558 runs at an average of 198, easily eclipsing the previous mark of 491 runs achieved by team mate Rohit Sharma against Australia in the 2013-14 season.
South Africa had been hoping for a consolation win at the end of the series, but were again in trouble early in their innings as talisman AB de Villiers (30 runs) struggled once more with the bat and wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals.
Khaya Zondo, in only his third ODI, top scored with 54 as Shardul Thakur took 4-52.
South Africa were all out with 19 balls still to face, setting India a modest target that Kohli comfortably reeled in with a flourish of stroke play.
“It’s all about being in a good zone,” Kohli said after being named man of the series. “On the day I felt good and my timing was right. I want to lead from the front with my performances.”
India, who lost the three-match test series 2-1, now play South Africa in three Twenty20 internationals at end of their two-month tour.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town, editing by Toby Davis