India thrash South Africa
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):
India exuded supreme confidence as they claimed their first World Cup win over South Africa in decisive fashion yesterday with a 130-run victory in their Pool B match.
Player of the Match Shikhar Dhawan crafted a stylish century to set the platform for a big total of 307-7, ably assisted by a half-century from Ajinkya Rahane (79 off 60 balls) and Virat Kohli's 46. India then dominated South Africa's batsmen with tight bowling and sharp fielding to bowl them out for 177.
Dhawan treated South Africa's much-vaunted bowling attack with disdain, as he placed his shots around the MCG at will to reach 137 - the highest-individual World Cup score against South Africa.
"Getting 300 runs was fantastic. It was definitely a par-plus score for this wicket," India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said. "And when we turned up with the ball, I think we bowled in the right areas and made it tough for the opposition to score."
India are now undefeated in two pool matches at the World Cup, after a 76-run win over arch-rivals Pakistan last week.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had India's best figures of 3-41, while Mohammed Shami (2-30) and Mohit Sharma (2-31) took two wickets each in an assured bowling display.
"It's a big knock for us to get beaten by 130 runs. It's almost embarrassing," South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers said.
The game was a home match for India, as more than 86,000 - mainly Indian - fans turned the Melbourne Cricket Ground into a sea of the team's blue, punctuated only by Indian flags waving around the stadium.
"It's always good to play in front of good support," Dhoni said. "Definitely, we need to give a lot of credit to (the India fans), so I think it's really heartening to see people come from all over."
Francois Du Plessis top-scored for South Africa with 55, while De Villiers made 30 off 38 balls, and Hashim Amla and David Miller each made 22.
"I felt we had a chance halfway through the game but, unfortunately, we just lost our way completely with the bat in hand," de Villiers said. "The two run-outs were unacceptable in the top-six. We can't afford those kinds of things. We were just outplayed today."