A disciplined bowling performance, followed by a battling hundred from Rohit Sharma, helped India begin their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign on Wednesday with a six-wicket win, extending South Africa’s winless start to the tournament in the process.
The day began with Jasprit Bumrah bowling a venomous new-ball spell that helped him dismiss South Africa’s openers, Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock.
Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen managed to weather Bumrah’s storm and scrapped together a 54-run partnership before Yuzvendra Chahal intervened, bowling van der Dussen, whose attempted reverse-sweep went horribly wrong. In the same over du Plessis was cleaned up, Chahal finding drift in the air to have the Proteas skipper playing down the wrong line.
Kuldeep Yadav had JP Duminy out lbw, and South Africa’s innings struggled to find much life thereafter. Fortunately for them, the lower order came to the rescue – Chris Morris (42), Andile Phehlukwayo (34) and Kagiso Rabada (31*) helped South Africa to 227/9 from their 50 overs. Chahal was the leading man for India, with figures of 4/51.
A fired up Kagiso Rabada, alongside an impressive Chris Morris, looked to give India a taste of their own medicine and stifled the opposition’s run-scoring brilliantly – India scored just 50 runs in their first 15 overs, with Shikhar Dhawan falling for 8. Virat Kohli took 30 balls to find the boundary, before the very next delivery saw him fall victim to a stunning catch from de Kock.
KL Rahul and Rohit led the recovery, and while Rahul chipped tamely to mid-on, India’s experienced man at the top of the order went on to three figures – he now has 23 ODI hundreds to his name – and eventually helped India home, with MS Dhoni providing valiant support with a 46-ball 34.