Champions Trophy: India Beat South Africa In A Close Encounter!

Shikhar Dhawan

India beat South Africa by 26 runs in the first one day international of the ICC Champions Trophy at Cardiff in Wales on Thursday. It was a high scoring entertainer with both teams getting more than 300 runs each. It was the first one day match at Cardiff where the team batting first won and the chasing team also crossed 300 runs for the first time. Maybe due to the new one-day cricket rules the Cardiff pitch made its reputation of being a batting one a little stronger.

On a windy and chilly morning South Africa won the toss and put India in. India made a rollicking start thanks to a opening partnership of 127 runs between Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma who opened as Murli Vijay was rested. A sensational new-find Dhawan went on to score his maiden one-day century (114) and was around till the 38th over. The initial momentum of the innings was maintained throughout despite fall of too many wickets in the latter phase. The target of 332/7 looked mammoth and decisive, but the Cardiff pitch did not flinch an inch. A late charge by all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (47 not out) helped achieving the big total.

South Africa started shakily, but soon raced to a commanding position thanks to a well-paced partnership between Peterson (68) and AB deVilliers (70). The run-out of Peterson proved to be a turning point putting the match back in India’s favor. However, the highest individual score was yet to come. All-rounder McLaren played a ruthlessly effortless innings of 71 and with good contributions from others again threatened to snatch the match away. Exceptional Indian fielding and effectively utilized spinners finally sealed the victory for Team India. South Africa maintained a terrific run-rate throughout enough for winning the game, but lost too many wickets for the effort. They ended up for 305 giving a margin to 26 runs which hardly set the rivals wide apart. The Scorecard:

A new-look Team India rocked by spot fixing and all cross connections and corruption did quite well to start with a win. They can rest and regroup well for the next match.


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