South Africa versus India, 1st ODI
Kingsmead, Durban – 1st Feb 2018
When you win the toss and bat first and you know that there is a certain Virat Kohli in the opposite team, you are taking a big risk. If cricket was a university, then this man Kohli has a PhD in chasing a target. In the blue Indian jersey, he becomes this superhuman who can seemingly achieve everything.
South Africa had the first-hand experience of that yesterday. By the time Ajinkya Rahane and Kohli crossed their 40 runs mark, the match was pretty much decided. There was calmness and a certain inevitability about the proceedings. South Africa’s first innings total of 270 looked way short.
How did South Africa get to 270? Well, it involved lots of struggle. After losing Amla early, De Kock and Du Plessis got along quite well and runs started flowing. Just when it looked like that De Kock has recovered from his slump in Tests, he was outfoxed by the leggie, Chahal for 34.
India went into the match with two wrist spinners in Kuldeep Yadav & Yuzvendra Chahal and reaped benefits from the decision. Both spinners struck at regular intervals and wiped out the South African middle order. Markram, Duminy, and Miller all fell prey to the spin as South Africa stood at a precarious 134/5 in 28 overs.
Finding able partners in all-rounders Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo, FAF Du Plessis took control in his hand. With a perfect balance of defense and aggression, the captain got out in the last over after scoring a marvelous 120. Du Plessis almost doubled the team score that was at 5-wicket mark with the tail.
The target of 270 did not look enough but it would have been daunting had South Africa struck few early blows. Indian openers who didn’t have a good time in Tests avoided danger for the first six overs.
Rohit Sharma went early but Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli looked in complete control. An lbw shout distracted Dhawan but Kohli committed himself to the run which saw Dhawan getting runout. Dhawan had made 35 off just 29 balls before getting out.
India looking for a stable number 4 since past few months, decided to opt for Ajinkya Rahane after his impressive showing in the Test series. Ajinkya did justice to the belief shown and almost took India across the winning line.
Virat Kohli at the other end scored his 33rd ODI century. This was his 20th while batting second, 18th in winning chases. This was also Kohli’s first ODI century in South Africa which he made known to everyone by his thumping century celebration.
When Dhoni smashed his customary boundary to win the match for India in the 46th over, India had comfortably cruised to an easy win in the first ODI of the series. Virat Kohli was adjudged as the man of the match. The match also ended consecutive 17-ODI winning streak of South Africa at home.
SAF – 269/8 (50) FAF Du Plessis 120, Chris Morris 34, Kuldeep Yadav 3/34, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/45
IND – 270/4 (45.3) Virat Kohli 112, Ajinkya Rahane 79, Phehlukwayo 2/42, Morne Morkel 1/35
MOTM – Virat Kohli
INDIA win by 6 wickets and leads the series 1-0.
South Africa Squad:
Playing XI: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), Faf du Plessis (c), Aiden Markram, Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir
Bench: Lungisani Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Khaya Zondo
Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
Bench: Manish Pandey, Mohammed Shami, Dinesh Karthik, Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur