India beat South Africa, Dhawan’s ton helps India break World Cup jinx




When India won the toss against South Africa, it was certain that Dhoni would take the right call. Deciding to bat first Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma came out to bat. The cautious start of the team did not hamper India’s assault at the end. Ajinkya Rahane’s blitzkrieg knock of 79-run lets the team go past 300 run mark. Shikhar Dhawan once again proved that how dangerous he could be once set. The talented left handed batsman slammed his first century in the world cup. He scored a brilliant 137 run knock off 146 balls with 16 boundaries and a couple of big sixes as well.

India beat South Africa, Shikhar Dhawan’s ton helps India break World Cup jinx

India beat South Africa, Shikhar Dhawan’s ton helps India break World Cup jinx

Although, Rohit Sharma was dismissed run-out for 0 in the very beginning of the match, but India seemed determined to play well under pressure. Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan started building the Indian inning and put a much needed 127-run partnership for the second wicket. However Kohli soon got out after scoring a laborious 46 run off 60 balls. He was caught by Du Plessis off Imran Tahir.

Shikhar Dhawan kept hitting boundaries at his ease. He eventually completed his century off 122 balls. India’s score was 183/2 at the end of 35th over. Rahane supported him well and both the batsmen built a solid 125 run partnership for the third wicket. Unfortunately Dhawan (137) was dismissed when he tried to play a pull shot off Parnell’s ball and Amla took the catch.

Suresh Raina came in and was dismissed cheaply but Rahane kept fighting it out in the middle. When Ajinkya Rahane was out India had already put a comfortable total of 278/5 on the scoreboard with 4 overs more to be bowled. Rahane (79) was out when a delivery hits his pad. He was adjudged LBW off Steyn. Another wonderful knock from the classy batsman came to an end. He hit 7 fours and 2 sixes.

Finally India managed to put a formidable 307 runs on the scoreboard at the end of 50-overs. Cricket experts termed it a good total considering the overall chasing records at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Yes, no team has ever been successful in chasing down 300 plus run target at this ground. However Indian players were not undermining the Proteas, considering their terrifying batting line up.

Mohammad Shami and Mohit Sharma kept the Proteas batsmen under control from the beginning of the inning. De Cock was caught by Kohli off Shami in the very first over and since then the African team could not recover from there on. Other batsmen also succumbed to the pressure and Indian ODI skipper Dhoni’s strategy did the rest.

Indian bowlers’ constant short pitch deliveries to Amla yielded his prized wicket as the African opener, got out trying to play a pull shot against Mohit Sharma. The ace batsman was dismissed for 22. Other batsmen also failed cheaply and a big world cup defeat was imminent for the Proteas.

Du Plessis tried to resist but eventually he got out after scoring 55. He was the sole batsman to score a half century from his team. India bowled out South Africa for 177 runs only at the end of 40.2 over. R Ashwin took three wickets, while Mohit Sharma and Mohammad Shami grabbed two wickets each. Ravinder Jadeja was successful to take the surprised wicket of Faf du Plessis, which was the turning point of the match.

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Atish Home Chowdhury is a freelance writer. sports are inseparable from him. He especially loves WWE, Cricket and other sports. It was long ago during his childhood he aimed to become a cricketer first but his creativity didn’t allow him to become a player. Instead he chose to be a sports journalist. This fulfills my aim both as a creative person as well as it keeps me inside the world of sports too.

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