India vs South Africa: Breaking the jinx Team India defeated the South Africa by mammoth 130 runs. In a match overshadowed by Indian players, ‘Men in Blue’ came with a blistering performances in all the fields of the including batting, fielding and much-criticised bowling. It is to be noted that Proteas has defeated Indian in all the previous three occasions they have played in the world cup.
Once again, skipper Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat first. Once again, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings, however, the best fielding side in the world was able to run out Sharma at duck. From there dependable Kohli and Dhawan carried Indian innings and went on to make a hundred run stand. Kohli was looking to score big once again, but he was caught at 46. Rahane (79) who came at number 4 today batted splendidly dealing in boundaries. Meanwhile, the patient Dhawan scored his century and went on to score his career-best score 137. This was also the highest score by any batsmen against Proteas in the World Cup surpassing Steven Fleming’s 134. When India was looking to score over 330 comfortably suddenly the flurry of wicket started and Raina (6), Dhoni (18), Jadeja (2) all went in quick time. Once again, India failed to capitalise in the death overs as it happened in the previous match against Pakistan. However, India managed to put a respectable 307-7 on the scoreboard in 50 overs.
Chasing a big total South Africa lost wickets at regular intervals. Except F Du Plessis (55) no other batsman created a threat. Amla (22), Q de Kock (7), Ab de Villiers (30), DA Miller (22) weren’t able to capitalise their innings after getting a start, hats off to Indian bowling that came good today with disciplined line and length. India raised its fielding standards too against the best fielding side when Mohit Sharma made an accurate throw and Dhoni just knocked the stumps to send the skipper de Villiers. Whole stadium reverberated with ‘India India’ chants when the biggest threat de Villiers went into pavilion. After getting the top guns, Indian bowlers cleared the tail quickly to restrict the Proteas at 177 and registered a comprehensive 130 runs victory. Except Umesh Yadav (34/0) all the Indian bowlers bowled well including Shami (30/2), Mohit Sharma (31/2) Jadeja (37/1) and Ashwin, who took three key wickets by giving 41 runs.
Shikhar Dhawan was named Man of the Match for his superb 137 runs in 146 balls. In the post-match presentation ceremony, he said, “I would say it’s a great feeling,” he says. “It was important that the partnerships were going big for my team. That was my plan. We lost the early wicket today; AB hit a great run out. Just wanted to stay at the wicket, respected the good balls. I was relaxed, I knew once set I could bring up the run rate again. After 20-25th over I was in, and I knew I could get boundaries easily. [Kohli and Rahane] batted beautifully. Virat at the start when we were under pressure, gave the stability, and Jinky started on a good note, and his strike rate was good so I could relax at the other end.”
Skipper AB de Villiers after losing the match said, “The run-outs cost us dearly tonight, just when we got started with the bat. We lost our way. Thought our bowlers fought back well, we were looking at 350 at one stage. It was a 270-275 kind of wicket, but looking at the way the Indians batted, it was a good effort to restrict them to 307. We just have to regroup as a batting unit and work hard on our game. I still thought it was a good toss to win. It was one of those where you wanted to bat first and put a team under pressure who had fielded in the heat, but still no excuses. We lost Vernon, and I needed Parny’s overs. Otherwise, I’d have ended up bowling again. We just didn’t bat well enough.”