Captain Virat Kohli struck a stylish century to lead India to a comfortable six-wicket victory over South Africa in the first one-day international on Thursday and end the hosts’ 17-match winning streak on home soil.
India amassed 270-4 to reach their target with 27 balls to spare at Kingsmead after South Africa captain Faf du Plessis, who won the toss, scored 120 of his side’s 269-8.
A record 189–run third-wicket partnership between Kohli, who made 112, and Ajinkya Rahane (79) set up India’s victory at the start of the six-match series.
Kohli reached his 33rd ODI ton off 105 balls while Rahane’s flamboyant knock came off 86 balls.Their partnership was the highest for the third wicket in an ODI at the Durban venue, beating a two decade-old mark held by Pakistan, and ensured India eased to victory with wickets and overs to spare.
Du Plessis carried his side as his team mates were strangled by India’s wrist spinners, slumping to 134-5 with Kuldeep Yadav the pick of the bunch as he finished with figures of 3-34 in an economical 10-over spell.
Together with Chris Morris (37), Du Plessis piled on late runs to take South Africa to a better than expected total, and hand a sell-out crowd hope but still significantly short of a defendable target.
India have won eight of their previous nine ODIs chasing down a target and Kohli felt his side always in with a chance of doing so again.“It was a special knock for me because the first game of a series is always important. When we restricted South Africa we knew we needed one partnership to effectively take us home,” Kohli said at the presentation ceremony.
The second game of the series is at Centurion in Pretoria on Sunday. South Africa top the International Cricket Council’s ODI team rankings with India second.Earlier, Skipper Faf du Plessis’ ninth ODI century helped South Africa recover from a minor collapse to post a competitive 269/8.
Coming in at No.3, du Plessis (120 off 112 balls; 4X11, 6X2) steered the South African ship with three vital half-century partnerships even as the Indian wrist spin duo of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (3/34) and leggie Yuzvendra Chahal (2/45) shared five wickets between them to rip through the top order.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, South Africa got off to a patient 30-run start before Jasprit Bumrah’s sharp inswinger trapped opener Hashim Amla (16 off 17 balls; 4X1) plumb in front.
Du Plessis rescued the hosts with a 53-run second wicket stand with stumper Quinton de Kock (34 off 49; 4X4) before Chahal and Kuldeep crippled the hosts with some excellent bowling.
South Africa Innings: Quinton de Kock (wk) lbw Chahal 34, Hashim Amla lbw Bumrah 16, Faf du Plessis (c) c Hardik Pandya & b Bhuvneshwar 120, Aiden Markram c Hardik Pandya & b Chahal 9, Jean-Paul Duminy b Kuldeep Yadav 12, David Miller c Kohli & b Kuldeep Yadav 7, Chris Morris b Kuldeep Yadav 37, Andile Phehlukwayo not out 27, Kagiso Rabada runout (Bhuvneshwar) 1, Morne Morkel not out 0.
Extras: 6. Total: 269/8.
Bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10-1-71-1, Jasprit Bumrah 10-0-56-1, Hardik Pandya 7-0-41-0, Yuzvendra Chahal 10-0-45-2, Kuldeep Yadav 10-0-34-3, Kedar Jadhav 3-0-19-0.
India Innings: Rohit Sharma c de Kock & b Morne Morkel 20, Shikhar Dhawan runout (Markram) 35, Virat Kohli (c) c Rabada & b Phehlukwayo 112, Ajinkya Rahane c Tahir & b Phehlukwayo 79, Hardik Pandya not out 3, MS Dhoni (wk) not out 4.
Extras: 17. Total: 270/4.
Bowling: Morne Morkel 7-0-35-1, Kagiso Rabada 9.3-0-48-0, Chris Morris 7-0-52-0, Imran Tahir 10-0-51-0, Andile Phehlukwayo 8-0-42-2, Jean-Paul Duminy 2-0-16-0, Aiden Markram 2-0-20-0.