South Africa V India, 1st ODI: Kohli Hits 33rd Ton as Visitors Register Comprehensive Victory
It was a sensational performance by the Men in Blue as they made light work of the total set by South Africa and romped home by 6 wickets with 27 balls to spare. It was yet again a Virat Kohli special which ensured India carried on from their thumping win in Johannesburg and registered their maiden victory in the ODI series thus ending South Africa’s unbeaten streak of 17 ODI’s at home.
Batting first South Africa posted a relatively below par 269 on the board on a batting paradise. The Indian wrist spinning duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav proved to be the turning point in the middle overs as they troubled the South African batsmen on a consistent basis an never allowed them to accelerate.
It was Jasprit Bumrah who provided the maiden breakthrough in the form of Hashim Amla while Chahal got rid off Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram in quick succession to put the breaks On the South African innings. JP Duminy was castled by a sensational wrong un by Kuldeep Yadav as South Africa kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
It was the useful partnership of 74 runs between skipper Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris which got the Proteas back on track. Du Plessis smashed his 9th ODI century and his 2nd vs India. He smashed some exceptional shots and was eventually dismissed b Bhuvneshwar Kumar on 120 of 112 deliveries which were studded with 11 fours and a couple of hits over the fence as the hosts reached 269 at the end of their allotted 50 overs.
India began quite strongly as both openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan struck some wonderful shots to get going. Rohit struck a sensational six of Morne Morkel but was dismissed pretty soon by the same bowler. Dhawan kept on finding the boundaries but it was a horrible mix up which cost Dhawan his wicket.
However, from there on, there was no looking back for the visitors. Skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane stitched together a sensational partnership which never allowed the South Africans to build pressure on the Indians. Kohli kept on finding the boundaries on a consistent basis and manoeuvred the ball brilliantly.
Rahane who played a brilliant knock in the 2nd innings of the Wanderers Test gained confidence from the innings and played some delightful shots en route to 79 of 86 deliveries which included 5 fours and a couple of sixes. Kohli went on to smash his 33rd ODI century and his celebrations were yet again out of the ordinary.
Eventually, India lost both the set batsmen within sights of the target. It was Mahendra Singh Dhoni who struck the winning shot and made it 1-0 for India in the 6 match series.
South Africa 269/8 in 50 overs (Faf du Plessis 120, Kuldeep Yadav 3/34, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/45)
India 270/4 in 45.3 overs (Virat Kohli 112, Ajinkya Rahane 79, Andile Phehlukwayo 2/42)
India won by 6 wickets (with 27 balls remaining)
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