India won against South Africa by 6 wickets Comfortably in a World Cup match held on 5th June at Rose Bowl, Southampton. Rohit Sharma (122* off 144 balls; 10 *4s, 2*6s) and Yuzvendra Chahal (10-0-51-4) were India’s hero’s in the match. They got timely support from fellow teammates in form of KL Rahul (26 runs), MS Dhoni (34 runs), and Jasprit Bumhra, Bhuwaneshwar Kumar sharing 2 wickets apiece.

Initially, Kohli lost the toss and Indians were invited to bowl on a batting pitch with overcast conditions. But Bumrah made du Plessis regret his decision by taking 2 quick wickets in the powerplay. Bumrah made use of hard lengths and troubled the batsmen. After 2 quick wickets, du Plessis and van der Dussen stabilized the innings but perished while trying to up the ante.

When things were going out of hand for SA, Phelukwayo (34), Rabada (31) and late fireworks from Morris (42 off 34 balls; 1*4,2*6s) got SA to a decent score of 227/9, which was an under-par score considering India’s batting line up.

After seeing Bumrah’s first spell, it was thought that if Rabada can do the same for SA, then the match would turn interesting. As expected, Rabada with his raw pace, troubled Indian openers and got rewarded with the wicket of Dhawan for just 8 runs.  With the fall of Dhawan early in the innings, Rohit and Kohli played the new ball cautiously.

When India was looking good with 54-1 at a stage, Kohli was dismissed, thanks to a superb catch from de Kock. Then Rohit joined hands with Rahul and built a partnership of 85 runs in 15 overs which held India in the driver’s seat after 31 overs. After Rahul’s wicket, Rohit completed the formalities with Dhoni and Hardik (15*).

Rohit was adjudged man of the match for his patient century.

Now look at what captains spoke after the match:

Faf du Plessis, South Africa captain: I thought India were magnificent on a tough pitch. They bowled well. Their bowling attack is strong – all bases covered. Fast bowlers initially and spinners who get wickets in the middle-overs. We clawed back with the bat again after the spinners bowled in the middle-overs. We started well with the ball again, but some great batting by Rohit, a bit of luck, but he did what we didn’t do – got a hundred and saw the innings through. Two things: The build-up to the match, the info said, a lot of runs were scored, and the make-up of our team, with the fast-bowling resources gone, we went with spin. If we had Steyn and Ngidi, we would have the chance to attack with overcast conditions. Rabada was an absolute champion – he was extremely unlucky, and I have never seen so many balls falling in different areas. That’s how it goes when you aren’t playing well. Little 50-50 things tend to go against you.

Kohli, Indian captain: The first win is always important. On the field, we were confident as a group. With the bat, we had to work our way through because of the attack they have. That’s where Rohit’s innings was very special. You need experienced guys to stand up. One of the top three getting a hundred is something we bank on. KL batted well with him. Then MS showed great composure. Hardik finished well too. He looks in a good headspace. One thing to say we’re a strong team on paper, but it’s another to be professional about the win in all three aspects.


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Cover Image- The Quint