Kohli and Jadeja secure India’s record Cricket World Cup victory over pedestrian Proteas
South Africa stumbled in the chase yet again and were thoroughly outplayed as India recorded a record 243-run win on Sunday at the Cricket World Cup.
South Africa suffered their biggest one-day international defeat by 243 runs to India in Kolkata on Sunday, as their struggles to chase totals reared up again.
Virat Kohli, on his 35th birthday, struck an irresistible century to help the World Cup host nation to a sizeable 326 for five on a slow and low Eden Gardens pitch in Kolkata.
Spinner Ravindra Jadeja contributed a late quickfire 29 off 15 balls with the bat before tearing through the Proteas’ middle-order with a brilliant five-for as South Africa were bowled out for an embarrassing 83 — their lowest score in a World Cup match.
South Africa’s struggles when chasing came to the fore again – their only other loss in the Cricket World Cup campaign came against Netherlands while chasing.
Marco Jansen top scored for the Proteas with 14 off 30 deliveries. Only four South African batters reached double figures as the side completely capitulated at the task of chasing.
“We know it’s a challenge; we know what the narrative is out there about us chasing,” captain Temba Bavuma said after the match
“I think we didn’t do any justice to that; we probably feel that a lot more.
“But I think when we have our conversations as a batting group we’ve got to look at it not emotionally and look at the things that didn’t go right out there.”
South Africa have been excellent in all departments throughout the tournament, but their lack of a chasing blueprint has been on show on three occasions already — against Netherlands, Pakistan and now India.
There is not too much time to fix it as they only have one match before the knockout stage of the tournament.
Both teams came into the clash having already qualified for the semifinal stage of the World Cup with only the top-of-the-table honours to play for.
India’s total was above par on a pitch that gripped for the spinners and offered early movement for the seamers. But South Africa were their own worst enemies with their lack of clear tactics when chasing.
No 7 Jansen was at the crease in the 14th over, with the entire top five in the sheds with the score on 40.
The highest run-scorer in the tournament, Quinton de Kock (five off 10) was the first to go, dragging on a Mohammed Siraj short ball in the second over.
Bavuma (11 off 19) – who is going through a barren spell in the World Cup – held on until the ninth over with Rassie van der Dussen (13 off 32); however, neither was able to tick the scoreboard over consistently.
The score was on 22 when Bavuma became Jadeja’s first victim. Aiden Markram (nine off six) stepped in, struck two elegant boundaries, then stepped out after edging behind off Mohammed Shami.
Jadeja and Shami trapped Heinrich Klaasen (one off 11) and Van der Dussen in front in consecutive overs, as the whole top order found themselves back in the changing room.
David Miller (11 off 11), Keshav Maharaj (seven off 11) and Kagiso Rabada (six off 26) were the rest of the batters who were trapped in the web spun by Jadeja who only conceded 33 runs in his nine overs.
Kohli lights up Kolkata
India’s victory was set up by their batters, particularly Kohli whose 49th ODI century, 101 off 121 deliveries, equalled Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar’s record.
“People like to make comparisons but I’ll never be as good as him … he’s my hero,” Kohli said after the match.
India lost two quick wickets when Kohli entered the fray and had to begin to rebuild the innings with Shreyas Iyer (77 off 87). It was a circumspect innings by the former skipper, as Kohli played most of his shots along the carpet, striking 10 fours and no sixes.
Skipper Rohit Sharma (40 off 24) and Shubman Gill (23 off 24) got India off to a rocket start, bashing the wayward South African bowling to every part of Eden Gardens.
Jansen conceded 17 runs off the second over of the match, which included five wides off one ball and four wides in total and was a 10-ball over.
Jansen’s first four overs went for 43 runs, and it was the first time this tournament he didn’t take a wicket in the powerplay.
His new-ball partner, Lungi Ngidi, didn’t fare much better. The right swing bowler conceded 34 runs in his three overs in the powerplay before he was replaced by Rabada who picked up the wicket of Sharma.
Rabada and Maharaj were the pick of the bowlers. Rabada took one wicket and conceded 48 runs in his 10 overs while Maharaj cleaned up Gill with a ball that gripped and turned to finish with one wicket in his 10 overs, conceding only 30 runs.
Jansen conceded 94 runs in the 9.4 overs he bowled in a forgettable day for the 23-year-old, who has been excellent throughout the tournament thus far.
South Africa’s ill-discipline with regards to extras continued, they’re now up to 132 extras in the tournament, after conceding 22 wides and two no balls today.
The victory in Kolkata gives India an unassailable lead at the top of the table, while South Africa need to regroup before their final group stage match against in-form Afghanistan, on Friday, who are still in the hunt for a semifinal spot. DM