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296/4 (50)
265/8 (50)
South Africa won by 31 runs.
Player of the match: Rassie van der Dussen
That'll be all then from this series opener but the second game will be played at the same venue in a couple of days' time. Do join us for our coverage of the same while keeping yourselves up to date with all the other cricketing action and news from across the globe, right here in Sportskeeda. Thank you so much for tuning into our coverage of this game, one which we hope you enjoyed as much as we did bringing to you. On behalf of my good friend and co-commentator Pradeep Somashekar, this is Sooryanarayanan Sesha once again reminding you to mask up and get vaccinated in case you haven't already. Good night and take care!
He struggled to keep himself still while crouching low and speaking into that microphone but that was just about the only struggle for Rassie van der Dussen today. On a track that had purchase on offer for the spinners, his sweeps and reverse-sweeps were out there to great effect as he wielded an innings out of the top-drawer to put his team in front. Fair play to skipper Bavuma as well who hung in there despite looking rusty up front and it was their partnership that put the hosts on the ascendancy post which their bowlers took over. Lots to think about for the two Rahuls, KL and Dravid, as the captain-coach duo seeks to get the visitors back on track in a couple of days' time.
Rassie van der Dussen (Player of the Match, has to crouch big time to speak into a low-rise microphone): The key for me was to just up the intensity. I knew that I had to go for my sweeps and reverse-sweeps early on and put pressure on the spinners. It was important to just show the intent from the start and we got a partnership going on a good batting wicket. We got the momentum and put up a good score. Coming in today, I was under a bit of pressure. I had to stand up and play. As a unit, we were quite confident coming into this match. We've played a bit of cricket here and we felt that 285+ would put us in a good position. When Shikhar and Virat were in there, they were in the game. We had to get them out and the new batters were going to find it difficult to find their feet. Maybe we could have done better in the last ten overs as far as our bowling is concerned but that's something we can work on going forward. We've been on a long journey with this team - our world-class coaching staff has put in a lot of hard work. We know how we want to be on and off the field and how we want to conduct ourselves. I think that's coming in from Temba and the attitude that we have as a team.
Temba Bavuma (South Africa Captain): I think it was close to a perfect game. We'll look to take the confidence forward into the coming games. Throughout the innings I struggled to hit the gaps. Rassie was batting on another wicket - the energy he brought in gave our innings a different impetus. The plan was to try and partner him as much as I can. From a mental point of view, it was to give him the energy that he needed. Another good debut for Marco. Obviously he's someone who can take wickets with the new ball, come in the middle-overs and bowl at the death. He's going from strength to strength. Aiden offers an extra option with the ball - especially with the new ball he can get it to skid on. Aiden's been doing a fantastic job for us. Andile was also good - obviously he would have loved to have played a bigger part in the game but he understands the situation of the game. He's a big part of our team. Good to see him take charge of the situation. Our spinners have been great - Keshav was great and Shamsi was trying to use the crease. The spinners have been really good. Nice to have Quinny back and lovely to see him laugh and smile in the changing room. Like I've said before he's a big player for me and the team - his energy, leadership and experience helps us a lot.
Time for the presentation ceremony. First up, Marais Erasmus has been given a memento for having officiated in 100 ODIs. Well done sir!

KL Rahul (India Captain): It was a nice game, we love playing games like these, so much to learn. We started off really well but we didn't wickets in the middle, we will look to see how we can stop the opposition in those middle overs and obviously the middle order couldn't get going, we got a good start, we were on par for the first 20 - 25 overs, thought we will chase it down comfortably. I didn't bat on for 20 overs, I honestly don't know how the pitch behaved but speaking to Virat and Shikhar said it was easy to bat on, just had to spend time in the middle and runs were easy to come, unfortunately we didn't string partnerships later on. Two players in the oppositions when they get hundreds, you more often get close to 300 which they did, we needed someone like that, play deep and take it till last and chase it down. The talk in the dressing room after the first inning was, we might've given 20 - 30 runs extra than the par score but it was two set batters who played till 45 - 46 overs, they continued the pressure on the bowlers throughout, 290 plus was again was 20 runs more than what we would've wanted to restricted them. Every game is important to us, we got out there try and win the game for our country, give our best, we have the World Cup in mind, get the best players in the park, it's always a great learning, get our teams going as well, we would make mistakes but we learn from it and get better!
South Africa 296/4 beat India 265/8 in 50 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 79 off 84 balls, Virat Kohli 51 off 63 balls, Andile Phehlukwayo 2/26 off five overs) by 31 runs.

It was a game that India should have had in the bag given how they were cruising at one stage. In both innings in fact, they let the advantage slip out of their grasp having first reduced South Africa to 68/3 before an incredible resurrection led by Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen set up a 297-run target.

There was nothing in the surface at least from the outset and the move to open the bowling with Aiden Markram raised a lot of eyebrows. Bavuma was vindicated though as Markram prized out skipper KL Rahul. Virat Kohli joined Shikhar Dhawan out in the middle and the duo went about their business without breaking a sweat.

In what was a seamless stand of 92, Dhawan put away the loose deliveries to the fence while Kohli milked the singles on offer with ease. Dhawan raised a sublime half-century to silence his detractors while Kohli too followed suit very soon. In between the two milestones though, Dhawan was castled by a beautiful delivery that spun back in from Keshav Maharaj.

That is when the slide began though - Kohli slog swept one into the hands of short mid-wicket and a passage of play saw the Indian middle-order snuffed out within no time. Three wickets in three overs put the hosts firmly in the driver's seat and it was to take some comeback from the visitors to even take the game close.

Eventually, it was too tall an ordeal as a couple more wickets fell at regular intervals. India managed to bat out the 50 overs but that was just about all they could salvage, barring Shardul Thakur notching up his maiden ODI half-century. Thakur put up an unbeaten stand of 51 off 48 deliveries along with Jasprit Bumrah but the game was way beyond their reach. The middle-order flattered to deceive for India and that ended up costing them this contest.

Due credit to skipper Bavuma and all of his plans though - they just worked like a charm alright! From Markram opening the bowling to Ngidi and Phehlukwayo being held back for their change ups to come into effect once the ball got softer, everything South Africa did turned into gold. The wicket did end up two-paced later on but the shot selection of the Indian batters left a lot to be desired. Quite a bit to work on with regards to that aspect before they return to try and attain series parity in a couple of days' time at this very venue. We will hear from the captains very shortly...
A maiden ODI half-century for Shardul Thakur! He gets an embrace from Bumrah for the same but this will be bittersweet with the result not going the way of his team. It has been a clinical defense from the hosts and they've hit the right chord first up in this 3-match series. South Africa win by 31 runs to go 1-0 up in the series!
265 /8 score
cricket bat icon Shardul Thakur *
50 (43)
cricket bat icon Jasprit Bumrah
14 (23)
cricket ball icon Lungi Ngidi
2 /64
49.6 Lungi Ngidi to Shardul Thakur, low full toss on the outside off, Thakur chips that one well over extra-cover, they come back for the brace but South Africa go 1-0 up comfortably in the end and India have a lot to think about how they went about their chase today!
Right then - the final ball of the contest is coming up. Shardul Thakur is on 49 - can he finish with a half-century?
49.5 Lungi Ngidi to Jasprit Bumrah, low full toss on the wide of off-stump, Bumrah gently taps it into the off-side and picks up another single. Final ball coming up!
Onto 49 now is Thakur. Can Bumrah get him back on strike?
49.4 Lungi Ngidi to Shardul Thakur, low full toss, can't connect as Thakur on the backfoot squeezes it down to long-off for only a single.
49.3 Lungi Ngidi to Jasprit Bumrah, too full on the outside off, Bumrah with an open face of the bat, squeezes it past the short third-man but the sweeper comes quickly around and keeps it to a single.
49.3 Lungi Ngidi to Jasprit Bumrah, WIDE! Yorker length but off-radar, goes way outside the off-stump and Ngidi has to reload that one!
49.2 Lungi Ngidi to Jasprit Bumrah, yorker length on the sixth stump line, Bumrah looking to jam his bat to it as he reaches for it but misses, DOT BALL!
49.1 Lungi Ngidi to Shardul Thakur, too full on the wide of off-stump, Thakur carves that one through the covers and gets only a single.
Bumrah defends the last one! Very well - from a practical perspective, there is no way India would get 30+ off the last over. Just the final rites remain now before South Africa go 1-0 up - India need 38 off the last over!
259 /8 score
cricket bat icon Shardul Thakur
47 (40)
cricket bat icon Jasprit Bumrah *
12 (20)
cricket ball icon Tabraiz Shamsi
2 /52
48.6 Tabraiz Shamsi to Jasprit Bumrah, good length on the middle and off, Bumrah gets right behind it and decides to defend it right under his eyelines. As log as South Africa doesn't go wayward in the last over this is their game for the taking!
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