Another substantial win marking India’s gradual adaptation to South African condition. For skipper Virat Kohli, the game turned out as “a lot of fun”, and for Ajinkya Rahane, it was the breakthrough knock of the tour. On the other side, even if South Africa captain Faf du Plessis emerged as the highest scorer of the match, it was his bowlers leaving the score undefended. Or, India batsmen could have been just too strong to be restrained. This summarizes the first ODI in the six-match series between India and South Africa.
Faf du Plessis did not hesitate trying to reap the first inning advantage of the match. Winning the toss, the South Africa captain handed fielding to Virat Kohli. This decision was entirely not wrong as the score of 269 for 8 wickets is never that easy from any point of view. Additionally, the skipper thumping 120 runs playing 112 was a challenge for India’s bowler. But the scorecard of the inning had sharp upturning with the next best scores reeling under 40. Chris Morris scoring 37 and Quinton de Kock brining 34 did the best they could, until scrambling to India bowlers.
South Africa’s middle order could not sustain for long as Aiden Markram, JP Duminy and David Miller clipped away without any substantial addition. Du Plessis played until the ultimate over of the match partnering throughout the batting line-up. Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo were the last impetus to haul the score with the captain.
India’s chase began with a strong strike from openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. The 33 runs partnership was for 6.3 overs until the former nicked a catch to Quinton de Kock at the over from Morne Morkel. This was followed by Dhawan’s who was ran out by Aiden Markram. However, by the time the player was down Virat Kohli already cracked open his inning. The attack on bowlers became quite non-stop when Rahane hit the pitch.
On the way to 122 off 119 balls, the India skipper was unstoppable. If not hammering a boundary of his 10 fours, he would run for a double and if not for a double, a single trickled down, as he kept on running like the wind. Rahane, on the opposite end, scored 79 off 86 striking 5 fours and 2 sixes. The players forged a partnership of 189 runs playing until the 43rd over in the chase. They left the pitch on a gap of two overs hauling the score to 262. Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni had a little to do with lots of time in hand. The chase required 8 runs with more than five overs at hand. India won by 6 wickets with 27 balls to spare.
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