India got off to a winning start after six days waiting to play their first match while South Africa are on the brink of not making the cut after losing all their three matches within a week. Batting was not easy with overcast skies and a pitch with an uneven bounce. With Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada bowling incisively and accurately it was surprisingly Yazuvendra Chahal who demolished the South African middle order with the dip and drift that he got. Rohit Sharma then played a brilliant inning albeit a slow one according to his standards, to see India surpass the target set by South Africa.
Seeing how Jasprit Bumrah had troubled the South African batsmen, Kagiso Rabada bowled with his tail up when bowled for South Africa, defending a paltry 228 runs. Bowling at an average speed of 141 kph he broke Shikhar Dhawan’s bat with one such delivery before claiming the Indian opener’s scalp caught behind off a scorcher. He greeted the Indian captain Virat Kohli, about whom he had voiced a not too complimentary opinion a few days earlier, with a bouncer at 146 kph. It was in the eight over that Rohit Sharma broke free with six followed by two boundaries off Rabada.
Quinton de Kock took a sensational one-handed catch when Kohli chose to chase a ball by Andile Phehlukwayo and edged it. India was now 54 for 2 wickets. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul then stitched together an 84 runs partnership for the third wicket negotiating a lively Chris Morris, the wily Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi. Just when the duo seemed to be going nicely, Rahul played a slower ball from Rabada straight into the hands of mid-off. With India at 139 for 3 wickets and still needing another 89 runs from 94 balls, Dhoni came to the crease.
Earlier Jasprit Bumrah gave the South African batsmen a torrid time. After the ace Indian bowler had Hashim Amla caught at first slip on the first ball he bowled to the batsman, Virat Kohli went on the offensive with three slips in place. Quinton de Kock tried to hit a ball through the covers but the extra bounce meant that he edged the ball straight to Kohli at third slip and Bumrah had his second wicket. Rassie van der Dussen and Faff du Plessis (38 from 54) then put together 54 run partnership before the former was bowled round his legs when he tried to reverse sweep Yuzvendra Chahal. On the last ball of the same over Faff du Plessis did not read slider by the bowler and was bowled by a ball that sneaked between his bat and pad.
JP Duminy was done in when he chose to play Kuldeep Yadav on the back foot and was caught plumb in front. From 72 for 2 South Africa were reduced to 89 for 5 wickets. David Miller (31 from 40) was caught and bowled by Chahal and the bowler later had Phehlukwayo (34 from 61) stumped by Dhoni. It was the 66 run partnership between Chris Morris (42 from 34) and Kagiso Rabada (31 not out) that gave the South African a total to defend. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar took the wickets of Chris Morris and Imran Tahir as the South African inning folded on 227 for nine. Yuzvendra Chahal ended with 4 wickets for 51 runs while Bumrah claimed two for 35.
Rohit Sharma (122 from 144) and Dhoni looked set to get India home even as Sharma reached his century in 128 balls. Miller put down an absolute sitter at cover off the latter, the unfortunate bowler being Rabada. Miller made amends when he caught a skier from Dhoni off his own bowling even as he crashed onto the stumps at the non-striker's end. With 15 runs required from 23 balls, Hardik Pandya scored three boundaries to see India achieve the target with two and a half overs to spare and six wickets in hand.