South Africa crush India by 31 runs in first ODI at Paarl

South Africa produced an all-round show to beat India on Wednesday

South Africa took a 1-0 lead against India in the three-match ODI series by winning the first game by a margin of 31 runs at the Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday. After posting 296/4 on board batting first, South Africa did well to restrict India to 265/8 despite half-centuries from Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Shardul Thakur.

The second ODI of the three-match series will be played on Friday at the same venue while the teams will move back to the venue for the third and final Test, Newlands in Cape Town, to play the final ODI on January 23.

It was a disappointing day for the Indian cricket team who suffered their third defeat on the trot on this tour of South Africa. India had earlier lost the second and third Tests of the three match series by a similar margin of 7 wickets.

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma was the star performer for the home team as he made his second century of his ODI career, scoring 110 from 143 balls with the help of 8 boundaries. On the other hand, he was well supported by middle-order batsman Rassie van der Dussen, who remained unbeaten on 129 from 96 balls with the help of 9 boundaries and 4 sixes.

Bavuma and van der Dussen added 204 runs for the fourth wicket to propel South Africa to a strong total of 296/4 from their 50 overs after the home team was reduced to 68/3 at one stage. Wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock scored 27 from 41 balls with the help of 2 boundaries, but he could not convert the start into a big score.

For India, Jasprit Bumrah took 2/48 from his 10 overs whereas spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed 1/53 from his spell of 10 overs. The rest of the bowlers remained wicketless. 

In the reply, India were off to a shaky start when they lost their captain KL Rahul for 12. However, a strong stand for the second wicket between Kohli and Dhawan, in which they added 92 runs from 102 balls, brought India back on track for the chase. 

Dhawan was impressive once again as he made 79 from 84 balls with the help of 10 boundaries whereas Kohli, playing in his first match since giving away the captaincy role all together, made 51 from 63 balls with 3 boundaries.

India could not continue the momentum built by Kohli and Dhawan as their dismissals in quick succession sparked a collapse in the Indian ranks. Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant was dismissed for 16 whereas Shreyas Iyer could make a run a ball 17. Towards the end of the innings, Thakur did well to wage a lone battle, scoring 50 not out from 43 balls with 5 boundaries and a six but his effort was just not enough.

For South Africa, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi and Andile Phehlukwayo took 2 wickets each whereas Aiden Markram and Keshav Maharaj both grabbed 1 wicket apiece.