Hosts South Africa produced a clinical all-round performance as they crushed India by 141 runs runs in the first one day international taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

This is the second biggest margin of victory by the South Africans against India in the ODIs played between the two teams.

After hammering the Indian bowlers into submission with a massive score of 358 for four, the five-pronged South African pace attack came out all guns blazing to bowl out the visitors for 217 in 41 overs. It was thorough professional performance by South Africa as Indians were outplayed in all departments.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni fought gamely scoring 65 off 71 balls (8x4, 1x6) as most of the top-order batsmen found it difficult to counter the pace of Dale Steyn (3/25 from 8 overs), bounce generated by Morne Morkel (1/29 from 8 overs) and the controlled swing bowling by Ryan McLaren (3/49 from 8 overs).

The South African pace attack once again exposed Indian batsmen’s inability to cope with pace, swing and bounce in adverse conditions after the trio of Quinton de Kock (135), AB De Villiers (77) and JP Duminy (59 no) pulverized the young Indian bowlers hitting them all around the park.

From the onset, Indian openers Rohit Sharma (18, 43 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (12) found it difficult to score runs as Steyn and Morkel swung the ball at a great pace making life difficult for the batsmen.

Rohit, in fact played and missed a lot of deliveries as got off the mark only in the 17th delivery that he faced.

Dhawan on the otherhand hit three boundaries but when a Morkel delivery kicked up, the Delhi lad mistimed a pull-shot which was taken by wicketkeeper de Kock running backwards.

Rohit and Virat Kohli (31, 35 balls, 5x4) batted for nearly 10 overs adding 46 runs in the process. Steyn and Morkel bowled with controlled aggression as they gave away very little.

Morkel was unlucky not to dismiss Kohli batting on two, when he got one to kick from short of good length but de Kock in his bid to engage in premature celebrations dropped the nick.

(This article was published on December 6, 2013)
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