India collapsed from 138 for 1 to 188 for 6 to lose their way in a chase of 297 in the 1st ODI of the three-match series against South Africa in Paarl. Eventually, India ended up on 265 for 8, conceding the game by 31 runs.
Batting first after winning the toss, South Africa put up 296 for 4 on the back of contrasting hundreds from Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen. In response, India seemed to be cruising at one stage, with Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli hitting fine half-centuries. However, once the partnership was broken, they crumbled in inexplicable fashion and went down rather tamely in the end.
India got off to a decent start in the chase as skipper KL Rahul and Dhawan added 46 for the opening wicket. However, just as the stand was beginning to look dangerous, the visitors lost Rahul for 12 as he edged Aiden Markram behind the wickets.
Former captain Kohli and Dhawan then featured in a second-wicket partnership of 92 to put India in control. Both experienced batters looked in good touch. The left-hander hit 10 fours in his impressive knock, while Kohli was content with picking the gaps and keeping the scoreboard ticking.
Just when India seemed to be running away with the contest, Keshav Maharaj (1/42) struck by cleaning up Dhawan for 79. The southpaw attempted a cut but was beaten by the turn. Dhawan’s exit led to a procession as Kohli perished immediately after. On 51, the right-hander attempted an uncharacteristic sweep against Tabraiz Shamsi (2/52) but only managed a top edge to midwicket.
Shreyas Iyer (17) edged an attempted pull off a short ball from Lungi Ngidi (2/64) to the keeper. India's hopes then heavily rested on Rishabh Pant but he perished for 16, stumped off Andile Phehlukwayo (2/26) as his attempted whip went horribly wrong. Venkatesh Iyer’s (2) ODI debut lasted seven balls. He went for an ambitious pull against Ngidi but only managed to pick the fielder at deep square leg.
Ravichandran Ashwin (7) dragged Phehlukwayo back onto the stumps as put India in further misery. Shardul Thakur scored a fighting 50* but the game was well beyond India’s reach by the time he got his eye in.
Bavuma, Van der Dussen lift South Africa after poor start
Bavuma (110 off 143) and Van der Dussen (129* off 96) helped the Proteas recover from 68 for 3 to finish on 296 for 4, batting first after winning the toss.
The South African pair added 204 for the fourth wicket as India’s bowlers could not make any impression on the duo. Captain Bavuma anchored the innings, hitting eight fours in his patient knock. Van der Dussen was more aggressive and ended up slamming nine fours and four sixes.
Bavuma got to a well-compiled hundred with a single off Thakur in the 45th over. Van der Dussen then brought up his ton by flicking Bhuvneshwar Kumar to fine leg for a single in the 48th over. The South African captain perished in the penultimate over when he holed out to long-on off Jasprit Bumrah.
Earlier, India dismissed Janneman Malan (6), Quinton de Kock (27) and Aiden Markram (4) cheaply but could not find an answer to the challenge offered by Bavuma and Van der Dussen.
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