India chased a challenging 297 and crossed at 138 for one before wickets fell in a heap
January 19, 2022
10:41 p.m. (ACTUAL)
India’s inexplicable mid-order collapse meant a good half-century from Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli didn’t count for much as the team suffered a 31-round loss to a determined South Africa here in Wednesday’s opening ODI.
India chased a challenging 297 and crossed at 138 for one before wickets fell in a heap and dashed the hopes of the visitors, who were 0-1 down in the three-match series. India’s innings ended at 265 for eight.
South African skippers Temba Bavuma (110 of 143) and Rassie van der Dussen (129 not of 96) had scored opposing hundreds en route to their 204-run streak to defeat South Africa to 296 for four after opting to bat.
India were well placed to go home with Kohli (51 of 63) and Dhawan (79 of 84) in the middle , but it all fell apart by the end of their 92-run streak.
India has historically relied too heavily on their top three and once again the middle tier failed to benefit from the platform provided by Kohli and Dhawan after losing cheaply to skipper KL Rahul (12).
Chase champion Kohli, playing his first game since leaving captaincy in a variety of formats last year, was barely breaking a sweat as he played half his century before a sweep shot of T abraiz Shami, a shot he doesn’t play regularly, led to his fall in disbelief.
Dhawan looked great during his stay, playing rising Test series star Marco Jansen quite comfortably, scoring five of his 10 four-pointers collected from the big left-arm pacer.
The stage was set for the likes of Rishabh Pant (16), Shreyas Iyer (17) and debutant Venkatesh Iyer (2) to get the job done, but they fell in quick succession and left India with 188 for six out of a strong 138 for one.
While Pant was caught off guard by a lightning-fast Quinton de Kock, Shreyas and Venkatesh’s shot selection could have been better.
Shardul Thakur (50 instead of 43) tried his best towards the end but the damage was already done.
Previously, Jasprit Bumrah (2/48) was the standout bowler for India in an otherwise ordinary bowling performance.
After a slow start, van der Dussen and ba vuma the second-highest partnership ever against India in ODIs to ensure a competitive total for the home team.
South Africa opted to bat on a slow-paced surface at Boland Park. The cue ball was impressive early on, with both Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar moving it both off the field and in the air.
After an inaccurate first over, the normally accurate Bumrah got his act together and left the opener to Janneman Malan (6) with an outswinger behind. Malan was expecting an incoming ball and was caught on the outside edge with his loose jab.
South Africa struggled at 39 for one of 10 overs, with Indian bowlers limiting the flow of runs.
De Kock (27 of 41) , playing his first game since announcing his retirement from the Test, and Bavuma found it difficult keeping the ball off the bat.
De Kock died trying to break the cuffs. Ashwin, appearing in his first ODI since June 2017, found de Kock’s stumps with a slider as the opener went to a cut-shot.
It went 68 to 3 in the 18th over when Aiden Markram from a direct hit by Venkatesh after opting for a single that was unwinnable.
At this point South Africa seemed struggling to get past 200 but a standoff between Van der Dussen and Bavuma changed the course of the innings.
Indian bowlers looked fairly ordinary in the middle overs, with the well-placed South African pair turning a shot regularly and also picking up an odd boundary.
Van der Dussen was there from the start on the attacker in the partnership when Bavuma played the anchor.
Van der Dussen used the reverse sweep for four runs in front of Yuzvendra Chahal to pressure the leg spinner before using the conventional sweep twice for moreCollecting boundaries.
He later used a free-kick to smash a full throw from Shardul for a six as South Africa’s innings found some much-needed momentum.
Two pick-up shots on a knee for a six over deep back square was the highlight of van der Dussen’s entertaining shot. He finished with nine fours and four sixes.
Bavuma was happy to pick singles at the other end while whatever was loose on offer was tucked behind the ropes.
The skipper scored his hundred in the 45th. over while his batting partner hit the milestone in the 48th over. It was the second ODI hundred for both batters.
The last over bowled by Thakur went 17 runs and took the hosts to almost 300. Thakur was the most expensive bowler, bleeding 72 in his 10-over quota. Venkatesh was not used as a sixth bowling option. —PTI
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