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Friday, 6 December 2013

Report: South Africa vs India, 1st ODI - INDIA Tour SA

Clad in pink in support of breast cancer awareness, South Africa beat India by 141 runs in the series opener at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. After a 121-ball 135 by opener Quinton de Kock, followed by a late onslaught by AB de Villiers and JP Duminy, helped set up the match in the hosts’ favour, the pace-packed attack led by Dale Steyn kept India on the back foot as they defended the mammoth target. (Also Read: Stats Highlights: South Africa vs India, 1st ODI - INDIA Tour SA
Chasing 359, while captain MS Dhoni (65) negotiated the SA attack with confidence, the rest of the batsmen succumbed, some failing to convert their starts into bigger knocks. Though they had conceded 29 extras, the hosts struck at regular intervals to bowl India out for 217.  
Earlier, put in to bat, local lad de Kock batted the hosts to a comfortable 247, before departing in the 42nd over. Although he survived a couple of tough half chances early in his innings, the young opener took the attack to the Indian bowlers. Hitting the ball all over the Wanderers, he kept the scoreboard ticking at a steady pace. He first found an able ally in Hashim Amla, who although played a quieter innings and was a perfect foil to de Kock.
Amla, who was involved in the 152-run opening stand, helped build a solid foundation, until he was castled for 65 by Mohammed Shami. The bowler claimed the senior opener and followed up with the key wicket of Jacques Kallis. Coming back for another spell couple of overs later, he had the all-rounder hitting the ball straight to Ravindra Jadeja.
But de Villiers then joined de Kock in the middle and helped accelerate the run-rate. The duo added 75 at over eight runs per over, until the opener chipped the ball back to Kohli. His knock, comprising three sixes and 18 boundaries, had helped lay an ideal platform for the rest to build on.
And that is what de Villiers and Duminy did as they launched into the Indian attack. They clobbered the pace trio of Mohit, Shami and Bhuvneshwar for 16, 16 and 20 to take the score past 300-run mark by the end of the 47th over. de Villers had slammed Bhuvneshwar over long-off in the over that yielded 20 runs to bring up his fifty. In the next over, Duminy reached his 50 off just 25 balls. It was only in the last over that the South African captain was sent back by Shami. After launching the pacer over the fine-leg boundary, he found his off-stump uprooted by Shami. But by then the de Villiers-Duminy duo had done considerable damage. Scoring at over 13 runs per over, they had taken the sting out of the Indian attack.
After the entertaining batting display, Steyn opened the bowling for SA with a maiden and though Lonwabo Tsotsobe was dispatched to the boundary by Shikhar Dhawan in the following over, the pacer had kept the left-handed opener on his toes. And while the Rohit Sharma-Steyn duel ended in another maiden, Dhawan struck two more boundaries off Tsotsobe in the next. It was in the third over that Rohit got his first runs after being beaten by the experienced fast-bowler.
In the next over, Morne Morkel claimed Dhawan off his first delivery. In his next, the tall fast bowler would have accounted for Kohli as well had de Kock held on to the ball as it kissed the No.3 batter’s willow and went straight to the ‘keeper. Kohli, who had braved the short balls in the earlier over, claimed two boundaries off Steyn in the next one that yielded 10. Scoring quicker than his partner, Kohli had made 31 in the 46-run stand until he chipped Ryan McLaren to Kallis at first slip. And a ball later, the pacer dislodged Yuvraj Singh’s bails. In the following over, Rohit was run out as a direct hit by David Miller found the opener short of his crease as he scampered to the striker’s end. 
Then with his team reeling on 65 for four, MS Dhoni joined Raina in an attempt to scale the steep target. The India skipper counterattacked and stepped out to the likes of Morkel as he fought to keep the visitors in the game. However, Steyn’s throw from near the square-leg boundary to the ‘keeper, who flicked the bails off to run Raina out, ended the blossoming partnership for 43.
And though Ravindra Jadeja stitched a partnership with his captain, once again the hosts struck before it took shape. Kallis knocked back Jadeja’s middle stump to end the stand for 50. And with 176 runs still required and the run-rate climbing, Ravichandran Ashwin was dismissed by McLaren.
Bhuvneshwar followed him back, edging Steyn to second slip. And a few overs later he ended Dhoni’s resistance. The pacer dismantled the India captain’s wood work and off the last ball of the over caught Shami off his own bowling to end the Indian innings and finish with three wickets.  
Man of the Match: Quinton de Kock for his glorious century
Dhoni: "The thumb is fine, nothing to worry. Not a good game for us. We didn't start well with the new ball when we bowled. It was definitely not a 350 pitch so our bowlers let us down. I think we were quite well prepared. We made the most of those 2-3 days before this. It's important for us to bowl well. Once the opposition has scored 350 we have to go for the bowling. More than the death bowling I was more disappointed with the new-ball bowling. We didn't find the right lengths. I think we need a bit more pace. Let's hope for the best."
AB: "We feel we're going to win trophies in the future and that's how we're going to play. I was going to bowl first too. I thought they were a bit too short in the first ten overs and that gave us the kickstart. Quinton showed great maturity for someone his age. We should a lot of flair. JP timed it very well and made it look really easy. Steyn's a bit of a freak with any kind of ball. Splendid performance. India will look to bounce but we're not going to stand back."
Quinton de Kock is the Man of the Match: "I'm very proud, didn't expect this to happen. I'm also proud of the other guys for their individual performances. I'm not one for the punching the air celebrations. I like to keep it cool. I wouldn't say I'm the star. I'm just a 20-year-old trying to do my thing."


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