India and South Africa match has been touted as the show between Indian batsmen vs South African bowlers. At the completion of Indian innings, the batsmen have won the battle scoring 307/7. For Indian batting, it was just the repeat of first match. Rohit fell early, one batsman hit century, 2nd and 3rd wicket had 100+ partnerships and despite looking strong they could just manage to cross 300 runs. The only difference was better run rate in Powerplay and no slowing down around Dhawan’s century. Can South Africa win the war now and win the match?
Indian Score 307/7
Taking inspiration from the last winning match, Indians did not change the Playing XI and again elected to bat. While Dhawan looked in form from his firt ball, Rohit Sharma was trying to settle in his usual slow mode. But after facing 6 balls, he ran himself out without scoring a run trying for a single that at least does not exist when AB de Villiers is the fielder. AB got the first wicket with the direct throw in the 3rd over.
Kohli joined Dhawan, and they added 2nd consecutive 100+ partnership for the 2nd wicket. Confidence of Dhawan needed only one precaution. That was not to be run out again playing with Kohli. He survived, but cautious innings of Kohli (60-ball 46 runs) ended after 127 runs partnership.
Instead of Raina, Rahane came at his position and the way he played it appeared he was sending message to Indian team thinkers that why they should trust him more than anyone else. Dhawan (146-ball 136 runs with 2 6s and 16 4s) added another 125 runs for third wicket with Rahane. In 43.4 overs India had scored 261/3.
From there on despite Rahane’s impressive knock of 60-ball 79 runs with 7 4s and 3 6s, India could add only 46 runs in next 6.2 overs losing Raina (6), Dhoni (11-ball 18 runs), Jadeja (2). Ashwin (run a ball 5 runs) and Shami (5-ball 4 runs) remained unbeaten.
South African Bowlers Panic
The match started with a good domination of bowlers. But that was only till first 10 overs. After that they were under pressure. Fielders gave overthrow. Bowlers had to change line due to confident batsmen.
In the end, Steyn could just better from his last match 1/64 to 1/55 with a maiden in 10 overs. Philanders had 0/19 with a maiden in 4 overs and due to injury could not bowl further. Duminy, the first bowling change had 0/39 in 7 overs. Morne Morkel was again expensive with 2/59 in his 10 overs while Tahir was comparatively impressive with 1/48 in his quota. Parnell just fell short of century with 1/85 in 9 overs.
South Africa batsmen need to perform exceptional to go 4-0 up against India in World Cup now. Right now now they have lost Quinton de Kock to Shami and have 26/1 in 7 overs.
India will take confidence from the fact that none of Dhawan’s century has resulted in India’s defeat.