Virat Kohli further enhanced his reputation as a ‘chase master’ as he smashed his 33rd hundred to lead India to a six-wicket victory over South Africa in the first cricket one-dayer as India chased down the target of 270 with 4.3 overs to spare. Kohli struck 112 off 119 balls with the help of 10 boundaries and put on 189 runs for the third wicket with Ajinkya Rahane (79 runs of 86 balls), the highest stand for India in South Africa. Kohli notched up his 20th hundred in a run-chase, out of which 18 have been successfully converted to victories.
Kohli celebrated his maiden hundred on South African soil in style, reaching there off 105 balls. In doing so, he equalled Sourav Ganguly’s record of most ODI hundreds as Indian captain. Both now have 11 centuries, with Kohli reaching the milestone in 41 innings as compared to Ganguly’s 142 innings.
In reply to South Africa’s total, India were off to a good start but lost two wickets in quick succession in the form of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. The Indian skipper and Ajinkya Rahane revived India in the chase where the former did bulk of the scoring.
Kohli brought up his 46th ODI fifty in the 26th over and kept the momentum going. The stylish right-handed batsman shifted gears and didn’t take much time to reach the three figure mark as he scored back to back boundaries in the 41st over to notch up his 33rd ODI hundred in 105 balls.
India were cruising to the total with only 23 runs left to take the 1-0 lead in the six-match series when the Indian skipper brought up his century. However, Kohli couldn’t finish off the match unbeaten and got out when India needed just eight runs to win.
Rahane too was seen in his elements as he brought up his 24th ODI fifty before getting out to a rash shot on 79. The Mumbai batsman was sent in at the No.4 spot and he supported his skipper well to take India to a winning position.
Earlier, Faf du Plessis played a brilliant innings of 120 runs powered South Africa to 269/8 in 50 overs. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, South Africa openers Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla played cautiously in the initial overs. Amla didn’t last long as departed in the eight over after getting dismissed LBW by Jasprit Bumrah. De Kock played a decent knock of 34 runs but he also was dismissed LBW by spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the 15th over. The hosts were giving away their wickets at regular intervals but it was their skipper du Plessis who ensured they reached to a modest total after hitting his 9th ODI ton. He was ably supported by Chris Morris (37) and Andile Phehlukwayo (27*) in helping his team bat the complete fifty overs. Kuldeep Yadav (3/34) and Chahal (2/45) were the star bowlers for the visiting team as they both took 5 wickets between them.
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