A half-century by debutant Sai Sudarshan and a historic five-wicket haul by Arshdeep Singh were the highlights as India dusted off the South African challenge by eight wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series at Johannesburg on Sunday.
India leads the series 1-0.
In the chase of 117, Indian opener Sai Sudarshan started his international career with a beautiful drive. However, Wiaan Mulder did not let the partnership between Sai and Ruturaj Gaikwad prosper too much, removing the latter for just five runs. India was 23/1 in 3.4 overs.
Shreyas Iyer was the next up on the crease and started his innings with a first-ball straight drive.
With the help of a boundary by Iyer on a delivery by Nandre Burger, India reached the 50-run mark in 8.4 overs.
At the end of the first powerplay in 10 overs, India was 61/1, with Iyer (28*) and Sudarshan (25*) unbeaten.
The duo brought up their fifty-run stand in 51 balls.
India reached the 100-run mark in 15.1 overs.
Sai reached his maiden ODI fifty in 41 balls, with eight fours. Iyer also made his 18th ODI fifty in 44 balls, with six fours and a six. But on the next ball, he was trapped for Phehlukwayo for 52 off 45 balls. India was 111/2 in 15.5 overs.
Tilak hit the winning runs, helping India chase down the target in 16.4 overs. Mulder and Phehlukwayo took a wicket each for SA.
Earlier, India’s young pacers Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan sunk South Africa in the 1st ODI, forcing the hosts to 116 in 27.3 overs on Sunday at the New Wanderers Stadium.
South Africa skipper Aiden Markram won the toss and decided to bat first. But left-armer Arshdeep and Avesh made the Proteas skipper chew hard on his decision as they took apart their batting line-up with their precise deliveries making the 50-over affair look like a T20I game.
Arshdeep caused a handful of trouble for the opposition batters with the angle he got from being a left-armer. Skipper KL Rahul stuck to his young guns by keeping them in the attack and maintaining the pressure on the hosts.
The game-defining moment was the second over of the game when Arshdeep nipped back-to-back wickets of Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen.
Apart from Tony de Zorzi’s fearless approach, the rest of the batters struggled to muster up runs on the board. Tony played some handsome shots in the hope of putting some pressure on the Indian bowlers after the dismissal of his partner Reeza for an eight-ball duck.
However, his success was short-lived with Arshdeep getting better of the left-handed batter and sending him back with a score of 28.
While Arshdeep and Avesh continued their onslaught on South Africa, Mukesh Kumar bowled some beautiful spells to keep the flow of runs in check. He conceded a few runs but came back strongly to put the pressure back.
Arshdeep completed his five-wicket haul by dismissing set batter Andile Phehlukwayo (33) by trapping him in front of the wicket.
The Chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav came in to add the finishing touches by bagging the final wicket of the innings – Nandre Burger (7).
Brief Score: South Africa: 116 in 27.3 overs (Andile Phehlukwayo 33; Arshdeep Singh 5-37, Avesh Khan 4-27) lost to India: 117/2 in 16.2 overs (Sai Sudarshan 55*, Shreyas Iyer 52, Wiaan Mulder 1/26).
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