#CWC15: Dhawan ton boosts India as South Africa disappoint

MATCH 13: India produced a dominating performance with bat and ball and in the field to outplay South Africa to the extent of a 130-runs victory in their ICC World Cup Pool B match at Melbourne on Sunday.

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It was India’s third biggest winning margin against South Africa, their first in a World Cup match and by far the largest outside the sub-continent.

India’s victory was set up by two century partnerships after they had lost Rohit Sharma run out in the third over thanks to a brilliant direct hit from extra cover by AB de Villiers after India had won the toss.

Man-of-the-match, Shikhar Dhawan (137 off 146 balls, 16 fours and 2 sixes), and Virat Kohli (46 off 60 balls, 3 fours) put on 127 for the second wicket and Shikhar and Ajinkya Rahane (79 off 60 balls, 7 fours and 3 sixes) a further 125 for the third wicket.

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Shikhar Dhawan celebrates his century

The Proteas fought back strongly towards the end of the innings, limiting India to 80/5 in the last 10 overs, in spite of the loss of Vernon Philander who broke down with a leg injury and was only able to bowl 4 overs.

In the circumstances thee decision to play Wayne Parnell as a fifth specialist bowler ahead of Farhaan Behardien was an important one.

Chasing more than 300 for victory the Proteas needed a strong reply but they lost too many wickets too quickly and their position was not helped by two run outs among the top six. There were several other soft dismissals.

What must be particularly disturbing for the Proteas was that, starting from the run out of De Villiers, they lost eight wickets for 69 runs and barely batted through 40 overs.

“More than just a result, it was back to back good performances by the batsmen and bowlers,” said India captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, after the game. “I think South Africa are a fantastic side and it was a great performance.

“I can only speculate how important the toss was. We were able to swing the ball under the lights and bowls the right areas. The spinners varied their pace well.

“The run outs were impressive. It was good to see Mohit and Umesh field well. The run outs were the turning point, particularly as they were set batsmen. The fast bowlers aren’t giving away too many loose deliveries. It’s very pleasing to see. The amount of effort the fast bowlers are putting in the nets is starting to show.”

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James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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