PAARL: South African middle-order batters – Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen displayed remarkable batting performance to lead the home side to a comfortable victory by 31 runs against India in the first ODI, here on Wednesday.
Bavuma and van der Dussen put on an astonishing partnership of 204 runs to anchor the innings when the Proteas were in trouble; losing their three wickets for 68 runs. Both the batters scored magnificent centuries to assist South Africa amass a commendable total of 296/4 in the allotted 50 overs.
Bavuma reached the milestone first; facing 133 deliveries, while van der Dussen reached the triple figures facing just 83 balls. Bavuma scored 110 on 143 balls, including eight boundaries, while van der Dussen smashed an unbeaten 129 off 96 deliveries, laced with nine boundaries and four sixes.
For the men in blue, Jasprit Bumrah took two wickets, while Ravichandran Ashwin made one scalp.
Set to chase 297, India fumbled in the start; losing the standing skipper – KL Rahul at a combined score of 46. Rahul walked back to the pavilion after nicking Aiden Markram’s delivery into the gloves of Quinton de Kock. He scored 12 off 17 balls.
The returning left-handed opener – Shikhar Dhawan alongside Virat Kohli put on a valiant 92-runs partnership to anchor the run chase. The pair appeared solid and looked to shift the momentum into their favour, but, Dhawan walked back to the pavilion after scoring 79. He faced 84 balls and smashed 10 boundaries.
Soon after, Kohli also perished after reaching his half-century. He scored 51 off 63 deliveries and hit only three boundaries. Following his departure, the touring side began to lose wickets at an alarming rate and eventually, slipped from 152/2 to 214/8.
Shardul Thakur, down the order, showed grit; scoring a valiant half-century. He scored an unbeaten 50 off 43 balls, including five boundaries and a six, but failed to pull off the victory for the men in blue.
As a result of the middle-order failure, India lost the first ODI by 31 runs.
For the Proteas, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Andile Phehlukwayo bagged two wickets each, while Keshav Maharaj and Markram struck out a batter apiece.