Shikhar Dhawan-Virat Kohli added 92 runs for second wicket, India crumble after this partnership.
South Africa 296 for 4 (van der Dussen 129*, Bavuma 110, Bumrah 2-48) beat India 265 for 8 (Dhawan 79, Kohli 51, Thakur 50*, Ngidi 2-64, Shamsi 2-52, Phehlukwayo 2-26) by 31 runs
On this day in 2021, India defeated Australia at their Gabba fortress and won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 despite being 0-1 down after the first Test. But on the same day a year later, India have started the ODI series against South Africa with a loss. India had two big chances, which they didn't grab, and lost the first game by 31 runs.
South Africa posted a stiff target of 297 for India to chase. The home team was under pressure before their captain Temba Bavuma led from the front and Rassie van der Dussen also mustered his highest ODI score in the fifty-over format. After winning the toss on a slow and dry surface, the openers couldn't do much. But the contributions from the middle-order allowed the Proteas to score a daunting target for the batting powerhouse of India to chase.
India and South Africa handed debut caps in the first One Day International in Paarl. Venkatesh Iyer and Marco Jansen were the players from India and South Africa, respectively, who debuted in the first match of the three-match fifty overs series. After South Africa won the toss, they decided to bat first.
South Africa lost their openers early
The home team didn’t start their innings well as they would have liked. Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock managed to add just 19 runs for the first wicket. Jasprit Bumrah gave the opening bursts for the visitors as Malan had a faint nick on the ball which went straight to Rishabh Pant behind the stumps. Janneman Malan was out for just six runs.
Then, SA skipper Temba Bavuma and QDK shared a decent stand that helped South Africa kick on in their innings. De Kock was also saved by Suryakumar Yadav when the hosts were looking to build up things. But the South African keeper batter couldn’t see off India’s main threat Ravichandran Ashwin. Quinton de Kock was clean bowled for 27 runs.
Bavuma and Dussen’s 204-run partnership
South Africa were reeling at one point after both the openers were dismissed cheaply. Aiden Markram, who had a decent Test series that the hosts won, was run out for just four because of debutant Iyer’s magnificent throw. The hosts could have been in a bad shape if their skipper Bavuma and Van der Dussen didn’t share that mammoth stand of 204 runs.
Things looked good for the Indian bowlers as they kept things tight. Van der Dussen and Bavuma were under slight pressure. But soon, they eased off the pressure and Van der Dussen counter-attacked the visitors. The Indian bowlers lost their grip on the match and the new skipper KL Rahul's tactics also were not effective.
Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen shared a stand of 204 runs which put the pressure back on Team India. Bavuma scored a magnificent 110 runs from 143 balls, while Dussen smashed an unbeaten 129 runs from just 96 deliveries. The two sixes that the South Africans hit came through Van der Dussen’s bat.
Shardul and Chahal bowled expensive spells
Jasprit Bumrah was the most economical bowler for India in the first ODI. He gave the team the opening breakthrough and broke the double hundred partnership by picking up Temba Bavuma. Ravichandran Ashwin also bowled a decent spell in his comeback game.
But Shardul Thakur has been ineffective since he had picked up the seven-wicket haul in the second Test match. In the first ODI also, Thakur went for plenty. Shardul bowled three no-balls and Van der Dussen hit him for two huge sixes, which helped South Africa to mount the pressure on the Indian bowlers. Bumrah picked up two wickets each while Ash got one wicket to his name.
Dhawan and Rahul start positively for India
India started the run chase of 297 runs on a bright note. Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul looked good in the eight overs that they played. But South Africa started the innings with the part-time spin of Aiden Markram which was hard to understand as the hosts had Lungi Nigdi, the premier pacer in the absence of Kagiso Rabada. This move from South Africa proved costly when KL and Dhawan tried to set the tone of the innings.
India looked firm favourites to take this match away as both the openers were getting well-set for a good score. But the faith on Markram finally paid as India skipper KL Rahul was dismissed for just 12 runs. Rahul nicked the ball and De Kock took a good catch behind the stumps.
After the 46-run stand for the first wicket, India were lucky to have another good partnership and this stand between the two Delhi boys was the last substantial one for India in this match. Dhawan and the former captain Kohli stretched India’s score with a 92-run partnership. India were cruising as Gabbar got to his fifty and VK also scored 51 runs.
Dhawan’s wicket turned the match for South Africa
Shikhar Dhawan was well on the course of getting to the three-figure mark. But Keshav Maharaj brought South Africa back in the contest with the wicket of Dhawan for 79 runs. Dhawan was clean bowled by Maharaj. After his dismissal, Virat Kohli scored his fifty runs and took India past the 150-run mark.
India were suddenly pushed on the backfoot, and they couldn't recover from this colossal wicket. Tabraiz Shamsi got the big scalp of Virat Kohli, which allowed South Africa to ride on top. Then the Indian innings collapsed as the middle-order hung up their boots. Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Venkatesh Iyer were dismissed cheaply by the Protea bowlers and the home side made a stronghold on the 1st ODI.
Shardul Thakur’s fifty is a big positive for the next match
India’s noted middle-order players managed to score in single digits. But when the chips were down, Shardul Thakur's batting cameo came in handy once again. Thakur didn't bat well in the Test series, and his bowling in this match was also all over the place but he made amends with bat in hand this time around as he scored an unbeaten fifty.
The Indian innings never looked like they could reach the 200-run mark. But it was Shardul Thakur's batting display that allowed India to come closer to the South African score. Thakur scored his maiden ODI fifty, which is a positive for India ahead of the second ODI match. Due to his half-century, India reached the score of 265 runs for the loss of eight wickets.
The Proteas bowled well as their lines and lengths were good, something which the Indian bowlers could learn for their second game. Ngidi, Shamsi, and Andile Phehlukwayo grabbed two wickets each, while Maharaj and Markram picked up one wicket each. South Africa won the match by 31 runs and Rassie ver der Dussen was awarded the player of the match award.