India vs South Africa first ODI: The first of the three match India vs South Africa ODI series between ended up in possibly the most intense fashions with the visitors registering a fine win. Quality batting performances assisted by some brilliant work with the ball in hand saw a solid South African side edge past the inexperienced hosts in a thrilling encounter by 9 runs. With Majority of India’s players already on their way to Australia the team was being lead by Shikhar Dhawan who was captaining a side filled with a bunch of youngsters. The match though didn’t end in India’s favour consisted of several events filled with twists and turns much of which shall not be conveyed merely by the scorecard.
The Indian captain, Shikhar Dhawan asked the Proteas to bat first after winning the toss. The match was reduced to 40 overs per side due to rain interruptions early on. South Africa were off to a positive start as the opening duo of Malan and De Kock saw the hosts through during the first phase of the batting innings. India had their first breakthrough at the score of 49 when Shardul Thakur dismissed Malan for 22. He struck again a couple overs later to remove the skipper, Bavuma for 8. The spinners were brought into the attack and this soon paid off in terms of the run rate being slowed down.
Markram was trapped by Kuldeep Yadav for 1 with South Africa down to 71 for 3. A well set Quinton De Kock too was dismissed for 48 after a brief partnership with Heinrich Klaasen. It was then that the lower middle order duo of Klaasen and Miller lead South Africa’s fightback as they started to steer the innings forward again. The duo showed brilliant resilience to first see through the tough times and then go for the big shots. The duo added a fascinating 139 runs off 106 balls to help South Africa post a total of 249/4.
India had the worst possible start to their chase with both the openers (Dhawan and Gill) being sent back for single digit scores. The opening spell from Rabada and Parnell proved to be too good for the Indians as they barely managed to match the required run rate during the majority of the first phase of their innings.The introduction of spinners saw more damage being inflicted upon the hosts as debutant Ruturaj Gaikwad stitched a clumsy looking partnership of 40 runs with Ishan Kishan before being dismissed for 19. Ishan Kishan too was dismissed next over with India in a spot of bother at 51/4.
Shreyas Iyer in at no.5 along with Sanju Samson started rebuilding India’s chase with some confident strokes. The duo added some brisk runs at quick rate with Iyer leading the charge in particular with a fine fifty off just 33 balls. However with his dismissal shortly after meant the Indian hopes were almost finished. Sanju Samson however took matters into his own hand as he started to help India find its way back into the game. He beautifully steered the run chase forward at first with Shardul Thakur, who also assisted the man from Kerala with some good shots. The duo added a sensational 93 runs before Thakur’s dismissal for 33.
With the run rate soaring up higher than ever Sanju Samson decided to take the bowlers on all by himself. After bringing up a fine fifty he found the big shots effortlessly towards the death. However the total seemed to be too big at last for the right hander with absolutely no help from the other end as he finished with a magnificent 86 off just 63 with India losing the India vs South Africa match by 9 runs. Ngidi started with the ball for his side as he picked up a fine 3-fer. Heinrich Klaasen was awarded the man of the match in the 1st India vs South Africa ODI of the series for his unbeaten 74 with the bat.