South Africa paid the price for poor running between the wickets and some indisciplined batting as the world No. 1 ODI side set India a winning target of 192 in a crucial ICC Champions Trophy group B match at The Oval.
When a team’s top four batsmen lose their wickets due to silly run outs and poor strokes, then it is bound to pinch. South Africa hardly looked the world’s No. 1 ODI team when they blew away a good start to be all out for 191 in 44.3 overs against India in a winners-go-to-the-semis ICC Champions Trophy group B match at The Oval on Sunday.
South Africa lost skipper AB de Villiers and David Miller in a space of six balls as the Proteas ran into big trouble at a stage of the innings when they should have been consolidating. (IND vs SA LIVE SCORECARD)
De Villiers made a good start, freely scoring 16 runs off 12 balls but a poor piece of judgement and superman dive were not enough to save him from a brilliant piece of throw from Hardik Pandya at point.
If that blunder with Faf du Plessis wasn’t enough, Miller was caught in a terrible mix-up that saw both batsmen stranded at the striker’s end.
South Africa made a hash of a commanding 76-run opening wicket stand after India won the toss and decided to field on what looked like a batting deck at The Oval.
It was a shame to see two set batsmen gifting away their wickets after showing great application when the ball was new.
An adventurous Hashim Amla edged Ravichandran Ashwin to skipper MS Dhoni after a 54-ball 35, a quality innings from the in-form opener.
Indiscretion got the better of Quinton de Kock, too. The young left-hander survived a LBW call trying a needless switch hit and then paid with his wicket next ball trying to sweep a delivery that was quicker off the wicket and rattled the off-stump. De Kock scored 53 off 72 balls.
The exit of Faf du Plessis (157/5 in the 34th over) put the skids on the South Africans. The Indian bowlers consolidated with better length and line and smart fielding.
Jasprit Bumrah’s back-to-back wickets of Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo ensured that the South Africans would produce no fireworks in the final 10 overs.
It was a mini procession thereafter as Bhuvneshwar Kumar missed a hattrick. JP Duminy, never in control of his edgy innings, was left stranded on a laborious 20 (41 balls) as South Africa, lost their last wicket, once again due to a run out.
Virat Kohli rotated his bowlers well and Jadeja once again stood out with his nagging line and length. So much so that not a single boundary was scored off his 10 overs that produced just 39 runs. He was the only bowler not to concede a wide as India gave away 16 extra runs, 10 of them being wides.
India’s fielding, a department that was a bit scrappy, looked sharp as the three runs outs justified. South Africa’s communication skills on a big day were simply atrocious.