CWC 2015: Team India steam rolls South Africa
Melbourne: In what was believed to be a marquee group B match between India and South Africa, the men in blue outplayed the Proteas in just about every department.
India vs South Africa as it happened
“Gabbar’s” ton propels the defending champion to 300+
Shikar Dhawan (fondly called ‘Gabbar’) scored his second century against the South Africans. Incidentally, the last time Dhawan had scored a ton against the same opposition the men in blue had gone on to win the match in the Champions Trophy of 2013. The flamboyant south paw built the innings with fellow Delhite Virat Kohli after his opening partner Rohit Sharma was runout at the non strikers end early in the match.
Dhawan who also had a good outing against Pakistan got his 7th ODI century with a boundary through point. Dhawan’s innings proved to be a central point around which other players contributed to take the team total to 307 at the end of 50 overs.
Kohli and Rahane support Dhawan
Virat Kohli, who had hit a sparkling century against Pakistan in India’s opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 played a supporting role to Dhawan as the duo put on more than 100 runs. Kohli was dismissed on 46 while trying to pull a short delivery from Imran Tahir. After Kohli’s dismissal it was the turn of Ajinkya Rahane to consolidate the work done by the Dhawan-Kohli partnership. Rahane scored a more than run a ball 79 and along with Dhawan’s contribution the team was able to reach 307 at the end of its stipulated 50 overs.
India’s fielding rises compliments the bowlers
India’s fielding which had faced a lot of criticism in the recently concluded test series against the Aussies stood to the challenge against the South Africans. After losing their openers relatively quickly AB Devilliers and Faf Du Plessis took it upon themselves to re-build the innings but a sharp throw from the deep by Mohit Sharma saw the South African skipper running all the way back to the pavilion. This proved to be a turning point in the match as even a half century from Du Plessis couldn’t prevent them from a 130 run defeat against the defending World Champions. For India R. Ashwin was the most successful bowler picking up 3 wickets.
23 year long wait ends
The 1992 world cup marked the first time India and South Africa locked horns in a world cup game. The two teams would go on to meet two more times. Each time though it was the latter who came out the victor. But today’s victory stopped the trend as team India finally came good at the fourth time of asking.