A fine all-round performance by India, led by Shikhar Dhawan’s hundred, saw them register their first World Cup victory over South Africa.
After spending two-and-a-half months in Australia without a win, the Indian team has turned things around to produce two emphatic victories. The win on Sunday was their first ever victory over South Africa in WC competitions, coming in their fourth attempt. India now top Pool B with 4 points and have finished with their two big matches.
Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli weathered the opening storm from the South African pacers and made sure India had a solid platform to build on. Dhawan went on to score his first century in three months spent in Australia – his personal best and also the highest score against South Africa in a World Cup match. Ajinkya Rahane contributed with a knock of 79 runs and helped the defending champions set a target of 307.
The Indian bowlers too put up an inspired show. Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma scalped the opening pair of Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla. AB de Villiers soon departed thanks to a brilliant piece of fielding by Sharma. The spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, bowled well in tandem.
“This was a very comprehensive win for India. What has now become clear is that chasing under the lights is not an easy task. India now have the confidence that they can defend a 300+ target. The bowling is shaping up really well and the fielding has been brilliant,” said Ayaz Memon, cricket commentator, on #CricketOMania Heroes and Zeroes.
“Thanks to the two big wins, India could now top Pool B. this will mean that they will face the fourth-placed team in the quarter finals and will be able to avoid Austraila or New Zealand,” said Chandresh Naraynan, cricket expert.
Comedian Suresh Meneon named Rohit Sharma as his “Zero of , “for trying that suicidal single, when he thought it wasn’t AB de Villiers, but Rajpal Yadav who was behind the stumps.” Narayanan picked Wayne Parnell while Memon went with AB de Villiers.
For the Hero of the Match, Memon and Narayanan both believed that Dhawan’s century was one of the most impressive performances of the day. “My hero for the day – Sachin Tendulkar for being on the field,” Suresh Menon concluded.