World Cup 2023: Match number 37 of the World Cup at the Eden Garden ground in Kolkata was a very special and incredible match. Hero of the match in the batting order Birthday boy Virat Kohli played a careful innings on his 35th birthday to set a record by scoring his 49th century, while his compatriots performed well against South Africa in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
An aggressive and sensational start from the Indian opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill kept the scoreboard moving from the start, which was complemented by a brilliant century from former captain Virat Kohli and an aggressive half-century from Shreyas Iyer after the captain’s dismissal. Courtesy of some late hits from Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja, India finished over 300.
South Africa showed a good fight in the field and stopped the flow of runs in the middle overs, but India was helped by a great start and a strong finish.
This was Kohli’s 49th ODI century, making him the joint-highest century scorer in ODIs. With South Africa’s top order in mind in the first powerplay, India’s bowlers struck immediately with the new ball. Ravindra Jadeja (5/33) then took center stage and thwarted the Proteas’ efforts by taking regular wickets.
India vs South Africa Toss.
In Kolkata, Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to bat first. Temba Bavuma also wanted to bat first. There was only one change to the South Africa setup, with Tabraiz Shamsi coming in for Gerald Coetzee.
India is the only undefeated team in the tournament so far but will have to be wary of Temba Bavuma’s side, who have gone from strength to strength since their defeat against the Netherlands in Dharamsala.
India vs South Africa Match No. 37: India won by 243 runs against South Africa
For India, Mohammed Siraj struck hard in the beginning when he fielded Quinton de Kock in the very second over. The batsman had completed 1000 runs in the Cricket World Cup on the last ball.
India’s fast bowlers added to the pressure by bowling a series of dot balls. Understanding the amount of turn available in the wicket, Rohit Sharma introduced Ravindra Jadeja in the powerplay. The move paid immediate dividends as Jadeja cleared Temba Bavuma’s stumps.
And Mohammed Shami ended the powerplay with another wicket, dismissing Aiden Markram (9) behind. Disciplined bowling ensured that India attacked at regular intervals. Jadeja and Shami benefited from the sharp reviews Rohit took from them.
The Men in Blue, Mohammed Shami’s form has been a big boost for them. The fast bowler has taken 14 wickets at an average of 6.71, especially by tricking the batsmen.
South Africa’s chase was almost over when Jadeja clean-bowled David Miller for 11. Ultimately he was out in the 28th over. In the first innings, India’s batsmen hit boundaries right from the first over and hit eight fours in the first four overs. Rohit hit five of these fours.
In the very next over, he took India further forward by hitting another four and two beautiful sixes off Lungi Ngidi. However, the aggressive onslaught of the South African bowling lineup by the captain ultimately ended in the sixth over. Rohit tried to beat Kagiso Rabada but his opposite number Temba Bavuma caught him brilliantly.
However, the flow of runs did not stop as Virat Kohli, who was celebrating his 35th birthday, came to the crease and continued to hit his shots.
It took excellence from Keshav Maharaj to dismiss Shubman Gill. He bowled a beautiful ball which took Gill to the on-side and then trimmed the off-stump with his bat.
As the South African spinners began to make better use of the wicket, scoring opportunities for the Indian batsmen diminished. From Gill’s wicket to the score of 25 overs, Kohli and Iyer hit only three more fours.
The tie was broken in the 28th over when Iyer hit a massive six off Tabraiz Shamsi. Many boundaries came off his bat and India increased their rate to more than six per over.
Kohli also picked up the pace and India looked set to score 300-plus. However, India’s scoring rate slowed down with the dismissal of Iyer in the 37th over.
The teams were engaged in a close contest in the death overs, even as India tried to increase the scoring rate on the back of some aggressive strokes from Suryakumar Yadav (22 off 13), while South Africa tried to pull things back. Some well-organized work in the area. India reached 326/5 with big strikes from Ravindra Jadeja, while Kohli finished on 101*.
South Africa's only concern so far has been their form while chasing. In their two instances of batting second, they lost low-scoring matches to the Dutch, while in the second game, they emerged victorious by one wicket against Pakistan in Chennai.
ICC World Cup 2023 Points Table:
India vs South Africa Playing XIs:
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.
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