India started the three-match ODI series on a sore note, losing the first ODI in Paarl by 31 runs. Indian batting especially the lower middle order failed to shoulder the responsibility of a stiff chase, losing timely wickets in short intervals. For instance, after Kohli’s departure, the likes of Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer played some rash shots to get out. So not only the run rate went up, the Men in Blue also kept losing set batters who could have taken the chase to the next level. From 152/2, the visitors soon became 199/7, courtesy Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo who rattled India with short bursts of two wickets each. Earlier they had lost skipper KL Rahul early, but Delhi duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli plotted along fine. Both looked superb as the runs kept coming as India look set for an easy win. Both went on to reach their respective half-centuries as India raced to 138/1. That’s when Dhawan fall prey to T Maharaj. Later Kohli also mistimed Tabraiz Shamsi and was caught. The match turned when Rishabh Pant was stumped off Phehlukwayo and Ngidi had Venkatesh Iyer caught in the deep. With Ravi Ashwin, who was playing his first ODI since 2017, also losing his stumps to Phehlukwayo, India’s hopes of pulling off a miracle evaporated quickly. Shardul Thakur did get a half century, but it just reduced the deficit.
Earlier skipper Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen struck contrasting hundreds en route to their 204-run stand to take South Africa to 296 for four in the first ODI against India here on Wednesday. After a sluggish start, van der Dussen (129 not out off 96) and Bavuma (110 off 143) shared the second-highest partnership ever against India in ODIs to ensure a competitive total for the home team.
Jasprit Bumrah (2/48) was the stand out bowler for India in an otherwise ordinary bowling effort. South Africa opted to bat on a slow surface at Boland Park. The white ball did a bit early on with both Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar getting to move it off the pitch as well as in the air.
After an inaccurate first over, the usually accurate Bumrah got his act together and had opener Janneman Malan (6) caught behind with an outswinger. Expecting an incoming ball, Malan was caught on the crease with his loose push taking the outside edge.