Defending World Champions India annihilated South Africa by 177 runs in their Pool B encounter at the MCG. The men in blue outclassed the Proteas in each and every department as they registered their first win over South Africa in World Cups. With this win, India is likely to top the Group B as the table toppers from the group. Shikhar Dhawan starred for the Indian team with a fantastic century and was backed well by Ajinkya Rahane, who scored a 60 ball 79 and the bowlers took care of the rest.Dhawan was named the Man of the Match for his 146 ball 137.
Chasing 308 to win from 50 overs, Mohammad Shami struck early as he dismissed Quinton de Kock caught by Virat Kohli at mid-off for just 7. Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis looked to take the game away from India before Mohit Sharma dismissed the dangerous Amla caught by Shami at fine leg. Skipper AB de Villiers joined du Plessis and the duo launched a counter attack. Du Plessis was surviving luckily but the same can’t be said for his partner as a fantastic effort from Mohit Sharma in the deep point region combined with MS Dhoni’s flashing reaction ran De Villiers out opening a gate for India to sense victory. He was followed by Du Plessis soon after as he was ccaught by Dhawan off Mohit Sharma at mid-off for 55. From then on, the South African batsmen collapsed as they were reduced for 177 all out in 40.2 overs from being placed at 133-3 in 28 overs. R Ashwin was the pick of India’s bowlers with figures of 3-41 players while Mohammad Shami and Mohit Sharma took two wickets apiece.
Earlier in the day, India were off to a poor start as they lost their opener Rohit Sharma for 0 courtesy a mix-up with Dhawan. Dhawan made up for his mistake as he along with Virat Kohli steadied the ship with a 125 run partnership in 25 overs before Ajinkya Rahane came in and launched a counter attack. Rahane along with Dhawan batted with flair as they dispatched the South African bowlers all over the park. Dhawan reached to his seventh ODI hundred as India plundered Steyn and Co. When Dhawan was dismissed for 137 in the 44th over, India were in a strong position with the scorecard reading 261-3. Suresh Raina didn’t last long and well set batsman Rahane too was dismissed by Dale Steyn as the South African bowlers came back in the last six overs and restricted India to 307-7 when scores of 330 was looking gettable.
Brief Scores: India 307-7 in 50 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 137, Ajinkya Rahane 79, Morne Morkel 2-59) beat South Africa 177 (Faf du Plessis 55, AB de Villiers 30, R Ashwin 3-41) by 130 runs.
More to follow…..