Dhawan's century takes India to 130-run win over South Africa

NetIndian News Network

Melbourne, February 22, 2015

Powered by a brilliant 137 by opener Shikhar Dhawan, defending champions India outplayed South Africa by 130 runs in emphatic fashion in a Pool B match in the ICC World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground here today.
It ws India's first ever win over South Africa in a World Cup match and helped them to stay on course to top their group but also sent out a loud message to all those who had written them off after their recent barren tour of Australia.
Apart from Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane hammered 79 and Virat Kohli made 46 as India posted a challenging 307 for 7 from their 50 overs after skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat first.
They then bowled out South Africa for 177 in 40.2 overs, with Ravichandran Ashwin picking up three for 41 and pace bowlers Mohammad Shami and Mohit Sharma taking two apiece.
The South Africans lost two of their top batsmen, A B de Villiers (30) and David Miller 22, to run-outs, which, in the end, proved to be costly.
India suffered an early setback after skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat first when a direct hit to the stumps by A B de Villiers, who had dived to stop the ball, found opener Rohit Sharma way out of his crease in the third over. Sharma had not scored in total of 9.
Virat Kohli (46) joined Dhawan, and the two added 127 for the second wicket to steady the Indian innings. Kohli fell to the spin of Imran Tahir, edging the ball chest-high to Faf du Plessis at short mid-wicket. His 46 was made off 60 balls and included three hits to the fence.
The South African bowling continued to come under attack as Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane (79) put on 125 for the third wicket. Dhawan treated the pace and spin bowlers with scant respect, hitting them to al corners of the field. His 137 was compiled off 146 deliveries, and included two sixes and 16 fours.
Rahane made his 79 off just 60 balls with the help of three sixes and seven fours.
The Indian innings slowed down a bit after Dhawan left in the 44th over, with Suresh Raina departing after making just six. Dhoni (18) was the only other Indian to get into double figures today. 
Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel came up with some effective bowling in the final overs to rein in the Indians.
Dhawan's 137 was the highest individual World Cup score against South Africa, bettering the previous high of 134 by Stephen Fleming of New Zealand in 2003.
Chasing a target of 307, the South Africans found themselves facing a tight Indian bowling attack and, in the end, crumbled under the pressure.
They lost opener Qinton de Kock (7) in the fourth over, with the total at 12. The other opener Hashan Amla (22) departed in the 11th, with the scoreboard at 40.
That brought Faf du Plessis, who topscored at 55, and de Villiers together and they added 68 for the third wicket before the latter was run out. The batsmen had to work hard for every run, with the Indian bowlers and fielders giving nothing away.
The required run rate moved past seven and the South African batsmen found the going tougher with every passing over. Sharma dismissed du Plessis in the 29th over, caught by Dhawan at mid-off, to make it 133 for four.
Three overs later J P Duminy (6) fell to Ashwin, with Raina taking an easy catch in the slips and South Africa were 147 for five. In the 34th over, they lost two more wickets  -- Miller and Philander (0). 
Steyn (1),  Morkel (2) and Imran Tahir (8) did not offer much resistance and the innings soon folded up.  Parnell remained not out with 17.
The 130-run defeat was South Africa's biggest loss in a World Cup match.
de Villiers said the run-outs cost his side dearly tonight, just when they had got going with the bat. "We lost our way," he said.
"Thought our bowlers fought back well, we were looking at 350 at one stage. It was a 270-275 kind of wicket, but looking at the way the Indians batted, it was a good effort to restrict them to 307. We just have to regroup as a batting unit and work hard on our game. I still thought it was a good toss to win. It was one of those where you wanted to bat first and put a team under pressure who had fielded in the heat, but still no excuses. We lost Vernon and I needed Parny's overs. Otherwise I'd have ended up bowling again. We just didn't bat well enough," he sid.
Dhoni said that, more than just the result, what made him happy was the manner in which team had played in two back-to-back matches with good performances with both the bat and the ball.
"South Africa are a very good side, so one more complete performance. We can only speculate how important the toss was. We were able to swing the ball under lights. The bowlers bowled in good areas, and even Jadeja bowled very well, not just quick and flat the way he usually bowls. Very pleased with the run-outs. We usually see the oppositions taking on our fast bowlers in the deep. Mohit and Umesh are quite fast and have good arms. What's happening really well is we are able to execute our plans. I can give fields to the fast bowlers. They are not bowling loose balls. They bowled tight lines and the batsmen had to play big shots to get runs. The amount of effort the fast bowlers are putting in the nets is beginning to show now."
India innings (50 overs maximum)
R G Sharma run out (de Villiers) 0
S Dhawan c Amla b Parnell 137
V Kohli c du Plessis b Imran Tahir 46
A M Rahane lbw b Steyn 79
S K Raina c sub (RR Rossouw) b Morkel 6
M S Dhoni c de Kock b Morkel 18
R A Jadeja run out (de Villiers) 2
R Ashwin not out 5
Mohammed Shami not out 4
Extras (lb 2, w 6, nb 2) 10
Total (7 wickets; 50 overs) 307
Did not bat: U T Yadav, M M Sharma
Fall of wickets:1-9 (RG Sharma, 2.5 ov), 2-136 (Kohli, 27.1 ov), 3-261 (Dhawan, 43.4 ov), 4-269 (Raina, 44.5 ov), 5-278 (Rahane, 45.6 ov), 6-284 (Jadeja, 47.2 ov), 7-302 (Dhoni, 48.5 ov)
D W Steyn        10  1  55  1
V D Philander    4  1  19  0
 J P Duminy        7  0  39  0
M Morkel           10  0  59  2
Imran Tahir        10  0  48  1
WD Parnell          9  85  1
South Africa innings (target: 308 runs from 50 overs)
HM Amla c Mohammed Shami b M M Sharma 22
Q de Kock c Kohli b Mohammed Shami 7
F du Plessis c Dhawan b M M Sharma 55
AB de Villiers run out (M M Sharma/Dhoni) 30
D A Miller run out (Yadav/Dhoni) 22
J P Duminy c Raina b Ashwin 6
W D Parnell not out 17
V D Philander lbw b Ashwin 0
D W Steyn c Dhawan b Mohammed Shami 1
M Morkel b Ashwin 2
Imran Tahir lbw b Jadeja 8
Extras (lb 1, w 6) 7
Total (all out; 40.2 overs) 177
Fall of wickets: 1-12 (de Kock, 3.3 ov), 2-40 (Amla, 10.2 ov), 3-108 (de Villiers, 22.5 ov), 4-133 (du Plessis, 28.1 ov), 5-147 (Duminy, 31.3 ov), 6-153 (Miller, 33.4 ov), 7-153 (Philander, 33.6 ov), 8-158 (Steyn, 36.2 ov), 9-161 (Morkel, 37.2 ov), 10-177 (Imran Tahir, 40.2 ov)
UT Yadav                  6  0  34  0
Mohammed Shami  8  1  30  2
M M Sharma             7  0  31  2
R A Jadeja             8.2  0  37  1
R Ashwin                 10  0  41  3
S K Raina                  1   0   3  0
Toss - India, who chose to bat
Points - India 2, South Africa 0
Player of the match - S Dhawan (India)

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