Rohit Sharma ton in vain as South Africa edge India in thriller
South Africa 303-5 (de Villiers 104no) beat
India 298-7 (Sharma 150) by five runs
First One-Day International in Kanpur
South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first. Quinton de Kock (29) and Hashim Amla (37) got their side off to a steady start.
De Kock survived a close run out chance in the fourth over. He shrugged off the scare with two boundaries in the next over off Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-67).
Ravichandran Ashwin, who was playing his 100th ODI, produced a sharp turner in his very first over to dismiss de Kock caught at first slip.
South Africa reached 48 for one by the end of the powerplay phase. Amla and Faf du Plessis (62) added 59 runs for the second wicket.
In the 24th over, Amit Mishra (2-47) foxed Amla with a straighter one which castled the right hander.
Meanwhile, Du Plessis completed his fifty with a powerful six off Suresh Raina (0-37). At the 30 over mark, South Africa were positioned at 139 for two.
An over later, Ashwin injured himself when fielding off his bowling and went off the field. It was later revealed that he picked up a side strain.
Just after South Africa crossed the 150 run mark, Umesh Yadav (2-71) returned to dismiss du Plessis, trapping him in front of the stumps.
Mishra sent down a lovely leg break that got David Miller (13) out stumped. Soon after completing his fifty, de Villiers (104 not out) took Binny apart for two sixes and two fours, as 21 runs came off the 45th over.
In the next over, Yadav saw the back of JP Duminy (15). Farhaan Behardien (35 not out) joined hands with de Villiers as the duo plundered 62 runs off the final four overs.
The South African captain reached his hundred off the final ball of the innings with a wonderful six taking the total to 303 for five.
For India, Mishra was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets . Yadav too managed two but was very expensive.
India got off to a good start as boundaries flew off the blades of Sharma (150) and Shikhar Dhawan (23).
Dhawan was given out lbw in the eighth over off Morne Morkel (1-51). Sharma continued to play aggressively while Ajinkya Rahane (60) opted to play the supporting role.
The fifty run partnership between the pair came up in the 16th over.
Sharma soon reached his own fifty with a boundary off Morkel. At the end of 20 overs, India were well placed at 116 for one.
Sharma and Rahane made batting look easy by rotating the strike well. It was not long before their partnership reached the three figure mark in the 27th over. Rahane completed his half-century in 67 balls.
Sharma teed off with a boundary and a six off Imran Tahir (2-57) to push India’s total to 176 for one after 30 overs. The duo added 149 runs before Behardien (1-38) got rid of Rahane.
The elegant right-hander took only 98 balls to reach his century. South Africa applied the pressure on Indians with some tight overs pushing the required-run-rate up.
Dale Steyn (1-54) dismissed Kohli at the stroke of the 40th over, thanks to a fantastic low catch by Morkel at fine leg. At this stage, India needed 90 runs off the last 10 overs.
An easy run out chance of Sharma went begging in the 43th over as de Kock failed to disturb the stumps at the strikers end.
A couple of overs later, Kasigo Rabada (2-58) misjudged a catch off Sharma at the deep fine leg boundary.
South Africa struck a decisive blow when Tahir dismissed Sharma and Suresh Raina (3) in the 47th over with India needing 31 more uns to win.
MS Dhoni (31) was scoring at just above run-a-ball, but with the required rate peaking over 10 runs an over, India needed an impetus which never arrived.
11 runs were needed off the final over, but Rabada dismissed Dhoni and Stuart Binny (2) off consecutive deliveries, to put the game in South Africa’s bag.
India only managed to score 298 for seven falling short of the South African total by five runs.
Tahir and Rabada got two wickets each while Steyn, Morkel and Behardien had a wicket apiece.
De Villiers was awarded the man of the match for leading from the front with his incredible century.
The second ODI of the five-match series will get underway on 14th October in Indore.
© Cricket World 2015