Virat Kohli scored his second World Cup century on his 35th birthday, and Ravindra Jadeja took five wickets as India defeated South Africa by a massive 243 runs at Eden Gardens on Sunday.
South Africa’s pursuit of 327 got off to a shaky start when they lost half their side for 40 runs in 14 overs as Jadeja (5-33) and Mohammed Shami (2-18) caused mayhem before the Proteas fell to just their second defeat, being bowled for 83 in 27.1 overs.
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The Rundown: India vs South Africa
Virat Kohli gave the crowd the ultimate birthday present on Sunday as he finally hit his much-anticipated 49th ODI century in an unbroken innings of exceptional persistence and drive to lead India towards an above-par 326/5 over South Africa.
A frenetic response, South Africa’s recovery, and Sachin Tendulkar’s record-equalling 49th ODI ton twice in three innings provided an excellent environment for Kohli’s 35th birthday game.
The Indian run-machine, who scored 95 and 88 versus New Zealand and Sri Lanka, exceeded the expectations of the delighted Eden crowd, scoring the historic century on a difficult Eden surface.
Kohli’s Unbeaten Knock Guides India to Victory
The Indian bowlers subsequently converted this potentially explosive match into a one-sided story, dismissing South Africa for 83 in 27.1 overs.
On a difficult field where shot-making was difficult, Kohli displayed character by going unbeaten till the end, taking India to 326 for five. He even predicted the outcome after the first inning.
South Africa started poorly when Siraj, Shami, and Jadeja each took a wicket with their first balls, resulting in five wickets falling for only 40 runs within the first 14 overs.
The day before, a comment made by India’s coach, Rahul Dravid, stated that
this overshadowed the performance levels provided by a couple of other spin bowlers, such as Jadeja and Yadav.
For the second time, Jadeja continued with his stump-to-stump harassing line, taking five wickets at the expense of 33 runs in his nine overs. Kuldeep was also impressive, taking two wickets over five and one over with a maiden. Shami had two for 18, and Siraj had one for 11.
South African bowlers, on the other hand, were considerably below average. Except for Keshav Maharaj, none of the other players could make an impression.
South Africa’s Missed Opportunities
While South Africa’s leading wicket-taker, left-arm bowler Marco Jansen, bowled all over the position, Tabraiz Shamsi, who replaced Gerald Coetzee, failed to get his line right, wandering mostly towards the leg.
The circumstances also revealed that the Proteas needed an effective sixth bowler. South Africa was guilty of delivering 22 wides and two no-balls, allowing India to play four additional overs.
Earlier, Kohli guided the Indian innings, while Shreyas Iyer produced his second consecutive half-century that solidified his place in the starting XI. The Kolkata Knight Riders captain was overjoyed to be returning ‘home’, hitting an 87-ball 77 with seven fours and two sixes.
Player of the Game: Virat Kohli
Despite his phenomenal stats in international cricket, Virat Kohli claims that he does not consider himself the ‘G.O.A.T.’ (greatest of all time) in the game. Kohli equaled legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries.
He eventually got the monkey off his shoulder in the 49th over, when he softly nudged Kagiso Rabada for a single, followed by his trademark calm celebration. Kohli worked tirelessly for the turning point, which came off 119 balls with 10 fours.
Kolhi’s unbeaten 101 against 121 deliveries occurred after 277 innings, whereas Tendulkar’s 49th ODI century followed after 452 innings. With his historical performance last Sunday, he was named the ‘Player of the Match’.
Virat Kohli had one of the most memorable days of his career on his birthday, marking the occasion with a stellar performance in front of a packed Eden Gardens stadium, including the legendary Master Blasters.
India v South Africa Score
|326/5(50 overs)||83/10(27.1 overs)|
|India overpowers South Africa by a massive 243 runs|
Both sides have advanced toward the semi-finals, and Sunday’s encounter was billed as an introduction to the title match later this month. India gained dominance early and went on to win for the eighth time in a row.
The cricket extravaganza continues this weekend! South Africa takes on Afghanistan in Ahmedabad on Friday (November 10), followed by India’s clash with the Netherlands in Bengaluru on Sunday (November 12).
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