South Africa posted a challenging 296/4 against India in the first ODI of the three-match series at Boland Park, here on Wednesday, thanks to century partnerships from Temba Bavuma (110 of 143) and Rassie van der Dussen (129 not out of 96).
After being reduced to 68-3, Proteas were saved by a 204-run stand between Bavuma and Dussen, which lifted them to a competitive total on a slow Paarl pitch.
The South Africans, having won the toss and elected to bat first, struggled to get started as they lost Janneman Malan (6) in the 5th over of the innings. Rishabh Pant made no mistake behind the wickets after playing a loose shot from Malan, who was glued to the crease.
Deputy captain Temba Bavuma then joined Quinton de Kock at the crease and both batted well against India’s new-ball bowlers. The bowlers were accurate with the line and length and also got some movement in the air. At the end of the first 10 overs, South Africa was 39-1.
As they built a partnership, Rahul introduced R Ashwin into the attack. A catch by Shreyas Iyer would have given the spinner a chance to strike in his first over, but he dropped it. After Ashwin tossed it outside off, de Kock sliced it wide of point, where Iyer moved to his right and dropped the catch when he had both hands on it.
However, Ashwin gave India its second wicket of the day by ending De Kock’s struggle (27) and notching up the 2nd wicket of the day. With Ashwin bowling a flatter delivery, the left-hander went for the cut, but missed it and was out. The 39-run stand between him and Bavuma was broken.
Aiden Markram, who batted next, played many dot deliveries, and in a desperate attempt to score, he lost his wicket. Venkatesh Iyer’s direct hit on the stumps ended South Africa’s 17 overs at 68-3. After a drive to mid-off and a call for the run, he couldn’t make it as he played a drive to mid-off but failed to make it as he played a drive to mid-off and called for a run.
Taking Proteas to 118/3 at half-time, Rassie van der Dussen and Bavuma mixed caution with aggression.
Bavuma managed his third ODI fifty of 76 balls as he maintained a positive attitude and stayed patient during a difficult phase.
The Proteas wicketkeeper-bowler Rahul made several change-ups to break the stand, but the Proteas batsmen Dussen and Bavuma played with great resolve and put on a 100-run stand in the 34th over of the innings. Dussen completed his half-century shortly after to keep the scoreboard ticking and peg visitors back.
In the 39th over, an Indian fielder’s overthrow took South Africa past 200 as Proteas batters put their foot on the accelerator. In the 45th over of the innings, Bavuma reached his second century of his career of 133 balls, continuing his brilliant Test series form.
Dussen was able to reach a century in just 83 balls as the pair of Dussen and Bavuma pressed India hard in the last over. The likes of Bhuvi and Bumrah, however, pulled things back with yorkers and slower deliveries and didn’t allow hosts to take advantage.
Bavuma was finally out in the 49th over by Bumrah as the Indian bowlers proved their accuracy in the death overs. Having played a captain’s knock of 110 runs, Bavuma holed out to India skipper KL Rahul at long on, ending a mammoth partnership of 204 runs between him and Dussen.
As Dussen and David Miller (2) hit boundaries and sixes off Shardul Thakur in the last over, the hosts reached 296/4 in 50 overs.
There has been a score of 296/4 in 50 overs for South Africa (Rassie van der Dussen 129* of 96, Temba Bavuma 110 of 143; Jasprit Bumrah 2/48, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/53) vs India.