South Africa grabbed crucial points in the World Cup Super League table after their win over India in the thrilling first ODI in Lucknow.
Put in to bat first in Lucknow in a 40-overs game, South Africa were reduced to 71/3 with India striking two quick blows. The wicket of Quinton de Kock further dented the visitors, but the tables turned when Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller joined hands.
The duo put on an unbeaten 139-run partnership in 17.4 overs to take South Africa to 249 in 40 overs. Klaasen remained unbeaten on 74 off 65 balls while Miller, carrying forward his fine recent form, finished on a 63-ball 75 not out.
South Africa pushed their advantage further with the new ball as Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell sent back the India openers inside the first six overs. Keshav Maharaj then spun a web over India batters with the pitch taking turn and India were reduced to 51/4.
Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson resurrected the innings with a half-century stand, but Iyer was dismissed in the 27th over to give South Africa the upper hand. Despite late fireworks from the Samson-Thakur pair, India finished short and South Africa earned some much-needed Super League points.
South Africa's bumpy road to ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023
The Cricket World Cup Super League which takes place across two years aims to raise the stakes of bilateral ODIs and help decide which teams feature in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 in India.
South Africa, before the start of the ongoing series against India, were languishing at 11th place with just four wins in 13 matches. 13 teams are taking part in this competition — 12 Full Member nations, along with the Netherlands — and the bottom five teams after the two-year period will play a qualifying tournament, which will also feature the best teams from the lower rungs of competition.
When South Africa forfeited the ODI series against Australia in January next year since it clashes with their new franchise competition, they had to give away all 30 ODI World Cup Super League points that were on offer.
Since then, they levelled the series against England in England (1-1), but it hasn't made their position in the Standings any better.
The ongoing series against India, the ODIs against England at home and the two games remaining from their suspended home series against the Netherlands are the only ODIs in the Super League remaining for South Africa.
The maximum points South Africa can get if they win all of their remaining Super League matches might not still be enough for them to automatically qualify for the tournament.
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