The Indian Juggernaut Steamrolls South Africa

The Indian Juggernaut Steamrolls South Africa

The birthday boy, Virat Kohli made sure that the whole of India celebrated his 35th as he scored a historic record-equalling century at India’s oldest cricket stadium, The Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Sunday. King Kohli was at his majestic best as he equalled the great Sachin Tendulkar’s record of the most ODI centuries(49), that too in far fewer innings, showcasing his class yet again. With this, The King finally meets Divinity.

The First Innings

The day started with the Indian skipper Rohit Sharma winning the toss and choosing to bat first. A smart decision as the wicket was very dry and would favour the batters. It also gave the Men in Blue an opportunity to showcase their batting prowess. 

Captain and opener Rohit Sharma(40 in 24b, 6×4, 2×6) gave India an explosive start along with Shubman Gill(23 in 24b, 4×4, 1×6) before they fell prey to the Rainbow Nation’s bowling. But the best was yet to come. 

Virat Kohli, the birthday boy walked in amidst loud cheers and applause by the zestful crowd from the City of Joy. Kohli played anchor and moved steadily to score a historic 101 runs(n.o. in 121b). Surprisingly he didn’t smash any maximums but hit 10 fours.

 As Kohli provided stability, Shreyas Iyer(77 in 87b, 7×4, 2×6) from the other end showcased explosive firepower before getting caught on Lungi Ngidi’s bowling. KL Rahul(8 in 17b) and Suryakumar Yadav(22 in 14b) went back a little early with Ravindra Jadeja(29 in 15b) finishing things up in style with back-to-back boundaries.

The Indians posted a grand total of 326 runs for the loss of 5 wickets.

The Second Innings

The South Africans on the other hand were not their usual best. None of their batters could cross the 20-run mark. Nothing seemed to be going their way as the Rainbow Nation looked out of rhythm. They wilted under pressure and the batters fell one after the other, crashing like a house of cards.

Ravindra Jadeja(9-1-33-5) on the other hand took full advantage of the dry wicket. As a bowler who bowls stump to stump, the ball was gripping the ground well and turning, much to the peril of the South Africans. This led to his maiden 5-wicket haul in World Cups. Md. Siraj(4-1-11-1), Md. Shami(4-0-18-2) and Kuldeep Yadav(5.1-1-7-2) helped clean up the rest of the batting lineup.

The Proteas were restricted to just 83 runs(all out in 27.1 overs). A look at India’s ongoing campaign shows that India may have summoned the best bowling attack in the history of their World Cup endeavours.

The Result

India won by a staggering 243 runs to hand South Africa their biggest defeat in ODI cricket. It marks the Men in Blue’s eighth consecutive triumph to drive the Indian Juggernaut forward. Virat Kohli was named Player of the Match for his historic ton.

The Road Ahead

Both India and South Africa have qualified for the playoffs. India has cemented its position as the table toppers. Currently, two playoff spots remain up for grabs with Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Afghanistan in the race. India’s next match is with the Netherlands on the auspicious occasion of Diwali, on Sunday(12th Nov ‘23).

Here’s the latest look at the points table after Sunday’s match:
TeamMatchesWonLost Points
South Africa(Q)86212
New Zealand8448
Sri Lanka7254

(Q = Qualified, E = Eliminated)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.