South Africa’s national cricket team has suffered their third successive defeat at 2019 Cricket World Cup, losing to 2011 champions India at Hampshire Bowl in Southampton. The Proteas limped to a well below par 227 for the loss of nine wickets in their 50 overs after winning the toss. The Indians coasted to the target in the 48th over, for six wicket win.
Seamer Jasprit Bumrah ensured that the Proteas made a dismal start to their innings after they won the toss. Maintaining a beautiful line and length, he dismissed Hashim Amla for six and a few overs later Quinton de Kock for 10 and South Africa were in some early trouble on 24 for two in the sixth over. Captain Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen set about rebuilding their innings.
They put on 54-runs for the third wicket and it seemed as if the Proteas were recovering somewhat. The introduction of the leg-spin of Yuzvendra Chahal however, undid the pair. Van der Dussen, who struggles to read wrist spinners, was unceremoniously bowled out for 22.
Du Plessis also looked out of his depth against Chahal and he was scalped a few deliveries later leaving the Proteas on 80 for four after 20 overs. The disappointment just worsened for the Proteas fans as veteran JP Duminy was soon on his way for three compliments of the spin of Kuldeep Yadav.
Just as it seemed South Africa were again regaining some momentum with David Miller and Andile Phelukwayo at the crease in a 46-run sixth wicket stand, Chahal struck again
He caught Miller for 31 off his own bowling and had Phehlukwayo stumped soon after for his fourth scalp of the match and South Africa were staring down the barrel on 159 for seven with 10 overs to go. Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada provided some much needed runs. They shared in the highest partnership of the innings, 66 runs, with Morris scoring 42 from just 34 deliveries and Rabada finishing unbeaten on 31 to help lift the Proteas’ total at least part the 200 mark.
South Africa eventually hobbled to 227 for nine in their 50 overs, a woefully inadequate total to trouble a formidable Indian batting line-up. India’s openers made a circumspect start to their chase and Rabada would have dared South African supporters to hope when he removed Shikhar Dhawan for eight in the sixth over.
Indian captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma steadied their innings with a 41-run second wicket partnership before Phelukwayo and a sharp catch from De Kock saw India’s skipper depart for 18.
Rabada also claimed the wicket of KL Rahul some time later for 26 but an Indian victory, in spite of their low scoring rate, was never in any doubt.
Sharma was the lynchpin of their innings, absorbing little pressure early on, he remained composed notching up his 23rd century in one day cricket. He shared in a 74 run stand alongside former captain Mahendra-Singh Dhoni who eventually became the consolation wicket of Morris.
It was Harduk Pandya, now partnering Sharma, who added the finishing touches leisurely guiding the 2011 champions to their first victory of the tournament comfortably by 6 wickets with 15 deliveries to spare.