South Africa vs India 1st ODI: Kohli’s 112 trumps Du Plessis’ 120 as India go 1-0 up

Virat Kohli 112 South Africa India 1st ODI Durban cricket

India captain Virat Kohli scored his 33rd ODI century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

India captain Virat Kohli led by example as he scored a brilliant 112 to lead his side to a six-wicket win over South Africa in the first ODI in Durban.

Kohli’s knock trumped that of his South African counterpart Faf du Plessis, who starred earlier on in the match with a sensational 120.

With his century, Kohli has now scored ODI hundreds in all the countries he’s played in. Furthermore, it brought South Africa’s 17-game winning streak in ODIs in Durban to an end.

Opting to bat first, South Africa lost opener Hashim Amla in the eighth over as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah for 16.

Quinton de Kock and Du Plessis made up for the loss of Amla with a 53-run partnership before De Kock was trapped lbw off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal for 34.

However, had De Kock reviewed the decision, he would have been given a reprieve as replays showed the ball was missing leg stump.

Despite also losing Aiden Markram, JP Duminy and David Miller in quick succession, Du Plessis and Chris Morris stabilised the innings with a 74-run stand.

Just as the duo were bringing the Proteas back into contention, Morris was clean bowled by Kuldeep Yadav for 37.

Du Plessis and Andile Phehlukwayo kept the runs flowing with a 56-run partnership, during which Du Plessis brought up his century.

Faf du Plessis 120 South Africa India 1st ODI Durban cricket

Faf du Plessis celebrates after bringing up his ninth ODI hundred

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

The South African skipper ultimately made 120 off 112 balls, which included 11 boundaries and two sixes, before he was caught by Hardik Pandya at long-off off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Even though Kagiso Rabada was run out off a wide three deliveries later, which was the penultimate ball of the innings, South Africa finished on 269/8 thanks to Phehlukwayo’s unbeaten 27.

Kuldeep was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Chahal took two. Aa for Bumrah and Kumar, they chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 270 to win, India lost Rohit Sharma early on as he was caught by De Kock following an ugly hoick off the bowling of Morne Morkel.

Rohit’s opening partner, Shikhar Dhawan, was looking in ominous form, but a moment of miscommunication between him and Kohli led to him being run out by Markram for a 29-ball 35.

Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane steadied the ship with a 189-run partnership, during which Kohli surpassed his hundred and Rahane his fifty.

Ajinkya Rahane 79 South Africa India 1st ODI Durban cricket

Ajinkya Rahane struck his 24th half-century in ODI cricket

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

With India nearing the finish line, Rahane was caught by Imran Tahir at long-on off the bowling of Phehlukwayo for 79, which came off 86 balls and included five boundaries and two sixes.

Kohli went on to make 112 off 119 deliveries, which included 10 boundaries, before he became Phehlukwayo’s second victim.

Despite losing Rahane and Kohli in quick succession, India ended up reaching their target with 27 balls to spare.

Phehlukwayo was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Morkel claimed one.

Du Plessis was disappointed to have lost, and said: “Just a few battle scars. Just went upstairs to get the fingers checked. One-day cricket, the intensity is a lot higher. Happy to get through the game. Feeling strong. Definitely didn’t get enough, we didn’t bat well enough.

“I reckon we were about 50-60-70 runs short. Chris had a good partnership but as a batting unit we were disappointed. When you’re chasing five runs an over here, it’s pretty easy. Tried everything with field placements and tactics, but Virat and Rahane played very well.”

Kohli, who was named Man of the Match, was thrilled to have started the six-match series on the right foot, and said: “Yeah it was quite special. First match of the series is important. We wanted to take the momentum of the Test win into this and when we restricted South Africa to 270 on this sort of a pitch, we were happy.

“Very happy for Jinx. Jinx is a top class player. We understood fast bowling was going to be a big factor in this tour. He was superb, he took on the fast bowlers. [On India’s bowling] Bhuvi and Bumrah, we bank on them. Picking up one or two wickets in the top ten is what we wanted to do.

“And then the two wrist-spinners – outstanding bowling by both of them. They are working wonderfully for the team. They’re playing in South Africa for the first time. They were very brave, they were throwing it up and that’s why they got wickets. As a captain, its outstanding when you have two guys who know what they want to do. “

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