India v South Africa: Rohit Sharma hits century in Cricket World Cup victory




India beat winless South Africa by six wickets
ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Hampshire Bowl
South Africa 227-9 (50 overs): Morris 42, Chahal 4-51, Bumrah 2-35
India 230-4 (47.3 overs): Rohit 122*, Dhoni 34, Rabada 2-39
India won by six wickets
Scorecard; Table; Schedule

Rohit Sharma scored an unbeaten 122 to guide India to a straightforward six-wicket win against South Africa in their opening World Cup match.

Chasing 228, opener Rohit guided India home with 15 balls to spare.

A fine bowling display had restricted South Africa to 227-9 with leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal taking 4-51.

Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took two wickets apiece as Chris Morris top-scored with 42 for the Proteas, who have now lost their first three games.

Two-time winners India – the last team to get their campaign under way, with the tournament a week old – put together a complete performance with bat and ball in front of a sold-out Southampton crowd of more than 18,500 after losing the toss.

While captain and star attraction Virat Kohli may have only made 18, brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, Rohit showed patience and control in his 144-ball stay at the crease, including 13 fours and two sixes.

On another difficult day for South Africa, they dropped a seemingly regulation catch offered by Rohit on 107 as David Miller put him down at extra cover off Kagiso Rabada.

After a third straight defeat, the Proteas’ quest to reach the semi-finals now appears to be almost a knockout scenario as they cannot afford any more slip-ups with six games to play, starting against West Indies at the same venue on Monday.

This is the first time they have lost three successive matches at a World Cup.

Their weakened bowling attack, ravaged by injuries to pace bowlers Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi, was unable to make regular inroads as Rohit registered his 23rd ODI century to move one ahead of Sourav Ganguly on India’s all-time batting records.

World Cup table after New Zealand’s win over Bangladesh later on Wednesday

India’s bowlers impress

India spinners shine in win over South Africa

Under grey skies, South Africa’s batsmen found themselves on the back foot from the off.

Hashim Amla and De Kock were both back in the pavilion inside six overs as the Proteas stuttered to 34-2 inside the opening 10 overs.

Faf du Plessis (38) did not find life any easier as he had to fend off two rising deliveries from Hardik Pandya early in his innings, but he and Rassie van der Dussen (22) did apply themselves to add 54 for the third wicket.

However, Van der Dussen was the first to succumb to India’s spin trio who began to tighten the squeeze in the middle overs.

Chahal’s opening over removed both set batsmen before JP Duminy was trapped leg before by Kuldeep Yadav to reduce South Africa to 89-5.

While both David Miller (31) and Andile Phehlukwayo (34) fell after showing some determination, South Africa’s most profitable partnership came for the eighth wicket – Morris and Kagiso Rabada adding 66 in 62 balls to push them towards their eventual 227-9.

For India, every option to which Kohli turned came up trumps.

Bumrah set the tone in a terrific opening spell which returned 2-13 from five overs and bagged Amla and De Kock with superb outswinging deliveries edged to second and third slip respectively.

Kumar and Pandya also proved tricky with the new ball and returning at the death, but the spinners Chahal, Kuldeep and Kedar Jadhav took a combined 5-113 from their 24 overs.

Chahal’s 4-51 are the best figures so far in the tournament from any bowler who has completed their full allocation of 10 overs.

Kohli falls to the spectacular but Rohit stays cool

‘Incredible’ de Kock catch removes Kohli

Before this game, there was talk of an apparent falling-out between India captain Kohli and South Africa pace bowler Rabada.

Rabada was quoted as describing Kohli as “immature”