Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen's fabulous centuries helped South Africa register a commanding 31-run victory against India in the first ODI of the three-match series at Paarl.
South Africa didn't get off to the best of starts as they lost the wicket of Janneman Malan in the fifth over of their innings. Quinton de Kock and Bavuma tried to steady the ship after that, but they found it a bit difficult to score as the track was on the slower side.
India had the Proteas under the pump as the hosts managed only 58/1 in 15 overs, scoring at less than four runs per over. De Kock was also dismissed in the first delivery of the very next over by R Ashwin, which made things a lot more difficult for the home side.
However, there was no respite for the Indian bowlers once van der Dussen joined hands with Bavuma in the middle.
South Africa complete a 31-run win 👏🏻— ICC (@ICC) January 19, 2022
The hosts go 1-0 up in the three-match ODI series 🎉
Watch the series live on https://t.co/CPDKNxoJ9v (in select regions)#SAvIND | https://t.co/P4UbRkIzIW pic.twitter.com/LofDcqnBMa
The duo batted sensibly and kept increasing the scoring rate over by over. They rotated the strike well, and trusted the conventional and risk-free shots on a tricky surface to add 90 runs in the next 15 overs, taking South Africa to a stable position, with the scoreboard reading 148/3 at the end of 30 overs.
Van der Dussen became more aggressive as the innings progressed, while Bavuma continued to play the second fiddle. Every Indian bowler, apart from Jasprit Bumrah, struggled against the duo. Their partnership kept growing at a rapid rate and Bavuma brought up his second ODI century in the 45th over of the innings.
Van der Dussen soon brought up his maiden ODI century three overs later. Their partnership was finally broken when Bavuma was out caught behind in the next over off Bumrah for a well-made 110 off 143 deliveries.
Van der Dussen kept punishing the Indian bowler, however, and stayed unbeaten on 129 off just 96 deliveries, pushing South Africa's total to 296/4 at the end of 50 overs.
Ready to recap the action?— ICC (@ICC) January 19, 2022
The full replay of the first #SAvIND ODI is now available on https://t.co/CPDKNxoJ9v 📺
Watch the series live on https://t.co/CPDKNxoJ9v (in select regions) pic.twitter.com/GR60Me2fvn
The chase wasn't going to be easy for India on a tricky surface. However, skipper KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan got them off to a good start, adding 44 runs in the first eight overs.
However, the breakthrough arrived via the unlikely source of part-time spinner Aiden Markram, who had Rahul caught behind. But the experienced duo of Dhawan and Virat Kohli added 92 runs for the second wicket, and India stayed in the contest.
Dhawan in particular looked in great touch as he played some exquisite shots around the ground, easing to 79. Kohli looked determined to play a big knock as well. However, just as the duo threatened to take the game away from the hosts, Keshav Maharaj struck, castling Dhawan with a delivery that turned in sharply after pitching just outside the off stump.
One brought two as Kohli was dismissed three overs later, soon after completing his fifty, trying to sweep a delivery from Tabraiz Shamsi.
India couldn't get any big partnership going thereafter as all of Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer and Ashwin got dismissed for scores under 20. Shardul Thakur put up a fight with a 43-ball half-century, but the visitors still fell short by 31 runs.