2019 Cricket World Cup: Rohit  helps India pile on South African misery

2019 Cricket World Cup: Rohit  helps India pile on South African misery

A modest target of 228 was easily chased down to secure a first victory of the tournament for India

groomy99
Jack Groom

India completed a six-wicket victory over South Africa at the Hampshire Bowl as they made it three defeats from three in the 2019 Cricket World Cup for the Proteas.

Led by a cultured 122* from opener Rohit Sharma - the highest individual score of the tournament so far - India never looked in doubt of chasing their target and lived up to their tag as one of the favourites to lift the trophy.

As for South Africa, this latest loss follows up reverses to England and Bangladesh, and have left them in a position where they must win all of their remaining six fixtures if they wish to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stages.

Proteas contained by smart bowling display

Led by the mercurial Jasprit Bumrah (2-35) and the beguiling Yuzvendra Chahal (4-51), South Africa were never allowed to get into their stride and put themselves in a position to post a seriously competitive score.

A sublime opening burst from Bumrah accounted for openers Hashim Amla (6) and Quinton de Kock (10), the paceman combining stealthy swing with a probing line to see off the dangerous duo.

Just as captain Faf du Plessis (38) was setting about rebuilding their innings with a watchful knock, both he and partner Rassie van der Dussen (22) - with whom he put on 54 with for the third wicket - were inexplicably removed within the same Chahal over.

First, the spinner was the joyful recipient of an unsuccessful van der Dussen reverse sweep to see the 30-year old bowled, before du Plessis was accounted for only five balls later as he too saw his stumps knocked over.

When JP Duminy (3) was lbw to fellow slow bowler Kuldeep Yadav (1-46) just three overs later, the South Africans were in strife at 89-5.

Whilst both David Miller (31) and Andile Phehlukwayo (34) showed ample resolve to at least try and see their side through to a challenging total before both succumbing to Chahal, the baton was left to numbers eight and nine Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada to see the score past the 200 mark.

The lower-order duo added 66 in 62 balls for the eighth wicket, with Morris striking a four and two sixes in his 34-ball 42 to end up as the only batsmen from his team to finish with a strike rate above 100.00.

Rohit sees his side to victory

Defending such a total, South Africa were always going to have to make early breakthroughs if they wished to win the match.

Their hopes may have slightly risen when Shikhar Dhawan edged Rabada (2-39) behind for just eight in the fifth over; these same spirits would have improved tenfold when Kohli was dismissed for just 18 with the score at 54-2.

The Indian captain can count himself somewhat unlucky to be dismissed, falling victim to a sublime catch from wicketkeeper de Kock to lose his wicket.

After a thick edge from the bowling of Phehlukwayo (1-40), the gloveman sprung high to his right to pluck the ball out of the air one-handed and dismiss the number-one ranked ODI batsman in world cricket.

Alas, any African optimism or Indian worry was put to bed by Rohit, who batted beautifully for his 23rd international 50-over hundred - and second against these opponents in his last three outings against them.

He survived an lbw review when on 24, but from then on alongside firstly KL Rahul (26) and later MS Dhoni (34) he shepherded his country to an easy victory.

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