Twitter Reactions: India open their account in the World Cup courtesy Rohit Sharma and Yuzvendra Chahal

Twitter Reactions: India open their account in the World Cup courtesy Rohit Sharma and Yuzvendra Chahal

While Rohit remained unbeaten on 122, Chahal returned with the figures of 4/51 with the ball.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

India are on the board straight away in the ongoing World Cup 2019 with a clinical win over South Africa. Though the 228-run chase went down to the 48th over, the Men in Blue were always in control of the game thanks to Rohit Sharma’s impeccable effort with the bat. He absorbed all the pressure to slam an exceptional 122 and remained unbeaten until the end as India defeated South Africa by six wickets.

It was a tricky chase for India given the conditions and South Africa’s new-ball bowlers Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada owned the conditions. The duo made the ball talk and the life was extremely tough for the batsmen out there. Shikhar Dhawan was sent back by the latter as the batsman edged it to the wicket-keeper. Virat Kohli arrived at the crease at three and even he found it tough to score runs.

Just when one felt he was set to play a big knock Andile Phehlukwayo got one to bounce off the length which took the edge of his bat. Quinton de Kock took a sensational catch and at 54/2 in the 16th over, South Africa hoped to turn things around. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma rode his luck early on in his innings and played an extremely patient knock. KL Rahul also took his time at the other end as the duo rebuilt the innings nicely.

They churned out boundaries at the perfect time to stitch a vital partnership of 85 runs in just 15 overs. However, the number four conundrum continued for India with KL Rahul throwing it away after scoring 26 off 42 deliveries. Rohit had gone past his half-century by then and was looking good for a three-figure score. MS Dhoni’s arrival at five brought calmness to the proceedings as the veteran took his time even as the required run-rate neared six by the 40th over.

However, the duo never took any kind of pressure on them. Rohit Sharma completed his 23rd ODI ton soon and then both the batsmen pressed the accelerator by targetting Tabraiz Shamsi. They cleverly played out the threatening Kagiso Rabada safely and Rohit was also dropped by David Miller in the 44th over. After the let-off, only formalities were left as Rohit and Dhoni didn’t give any chance to the opposition.

India completed the chase in the 48th over and though one has to give it to South Africa for stretching the game and showing the fight, the Men in Blue were bossing the game throughout. While Rohit Sharma remained unbeaten on 122, Dhoni played a vital knock of 34 runs before getting out with the victory in sight. It has been a great start for India to their World Cup campaign while the Proteas are in shambles now after losing all their three matches.

Chahal runs through South Africa

Earlier in the day, South Africa won the toss for the third consecutive time in as many matches and this time, Faf du Plessis opted to bat first. But as the action began, the decision seemed to be proved wrong again. Jasprit Bumrah bowled some impeccable lines to send back both the openers. While Hashim Amla edged one to the second slip, Quinton de Kock gave a catch to the third slip.

The skipper Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen only concentrated on saving their wickets and in the process, the run-rate went down considerably. The duo added 54 runs for the third wicket but they took almost 13 overs to score. Having taken so much time, they were expected to make up later in the innings. But Van der Dussen inexplicably went for a reverse sweep off Yuzvendra Chahal and saw his stumps disturbed.

The leggie also bowled a corker of a delivery to castle Du Plessis as well and when Kuldeep Yadav pinned JP Duminy in front of the stumps, South Africa were reeling at 89/5. Andile Phehlukwayo, David Miller and Chris Morris then batted carefully and responsibly by stitching partnerships. They made sure that South Africa batted their full quota of overs.

Kagiso Rabada too proved he is no mug with the bat and contributed an unbeaten 31 off 35 deliveries. While Miller mustered 31 runs, Phehlukwayo and Morris scored 34 and 42 runs respectively which propelled the Proteas to 227 runs for the loss of nine wickets. Chahal was the best bowler for India who returned with 4/51.

The score was never going to be enough and though South African bowlers tried to make a meal of it, Rohit Sharma’s century and the middle order’s patient support to him, helped India get over the line in a tricky chase.

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