Yesterday India played their first match against South Africa at Hampshire Bowl, Southampton, London and won by 6 wickets (13 balls left). While Indian players were waiting to hit the field, South Africa had already played two matches. India though hasn’t lost to South Africa in ICC tournaments since 2011 World Cup. South Africa had lost the two earlier matches against England and Bangladesh. They really needed yesterday’s win to get to a higher position in the point table. Indian players were definitely not going to make it any easy for the South African team.
South Africa won the toss and choose to bat. They set the target of 227 runs in the first innings. Since the past three matches, Faf Du Plessis does not seem in his usual form which is setting the team back as they can’t cope up with the runs in the beginning overs. But the major setback for the South African team was the absence of its injured players, Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi.
Chahal, Bumhra and Bhuvaneshvar Kumar did an amazing job at bowling in first innings. Chahal took 4 wickets in 10 overs at the run rate of 5.1 per over. Bumhra did an excellent job by taking two major wickets, in the beginning, overs. Rohit Sharma the opener of Indian batting team was declared man of the match as India won by six wickets. He was unstoppable. It needs the experience to play on the field on which it is tough to bat. He scored 122 runs in 144 balls.
“The wait was very long and then you get a game like this where it was challenging throughout. From our point of view, it was important to start on the right note. We might not have had the run rate, but if you look at how the game went and how the pitch behaved, it was challenging,” said Kohli, the winning captain at the post-match presentation.
“Hats off to Rohit, his innings was special. And also, the guys who batted around him. I would say it’s a professional win. We were going to bowl first. They were coming off two losses, so you have to make sure you get the first 15 overs right. Jasprit is operating at a different level, to be honest. The way he’s bowling, the batsmen feel the pressure all the time. Not the other way around. Chahal (four wickets) was outstanding as well. 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 (Rahul) batted really well with him. Then MS (Dhoni) showed great composure. Hardik finished well too. He looks in a good headspace,” he added.
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