India Suffers a 31-run Defeat in the First ODI in Paarl, South Africa Grabs a 1-0 Series Lead

First ODI
Photo Credit: India Today

Despite Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Shardul Thakur getting fifties, India had to digest a 31-run defeat in the first of the 3-matches ODI series against South Africa at Boland Park. With a challenge of a 297-run chase in front of them, India’s innings ended at 265 for 8 due to the fiery bowling performance by the Protea bowlers.

Earlier in the match, South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma kept the scoreboard moving for South Africa before Rassie Van der Dussen joined him in the 18th over. Together, they stitched a 204-run partnership for the 4th wicket to help the team to get to a challenging score like 296/4.

Temba Bavuma bagged his 2nd ODI century in the match by scoring 110 off 143 balls. On the other hand, Van der Dussen kept the Indian attack at bay with an unbeaten 129 off 96 balls. They became the 3rd South Africa pair to score a century each in an ODI against India.

India had a solid start in the second innings as Shikhar Dhawan started to attack from the very beginning to forge a 46-run opening partnership with KL Rahul. Then, he joined hands with Virat Kohli to produce a 96-run stand for the second wicket. 

However, after the dismissal of both of them by the SA spinning attack, Indian batters looked clueless in front of SA bowling spells. Shreyas Iyer (17), Rishabh Pant (16) and Venkatesh Iyer (2) failed to leave an impact on the Indian scoreboard.

Shardul Thakur is credited with a late cameo of a harmless fifty. He along with Jasprit Bumrah produced a 50+ run stand that lowered the margin of defeat.

Indian stand-in captain KL Rahul blamed the lack of wickets in the middle-overs and middle-order collapse for defeat in the series opener on Wednesday.

“It was a nice game. There’s so much to learn. We started off really well, we couldn’t get wickets in the middle. We’ll look to see how we get wickets in the middle overs and stop the opposition,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“The middle-order couldn’t get going. We were on par for the first 20-25 overs of the game. I thought we would chase it down easily but SA bowled really well and got crucial wickets,” added Rahul.

Notably, ex-captain Virat Kohli in Paarl set a new record by overtaking Sachin Tendulkar for the most number of runs in the overseas ODI for India. He also played in the match as a pure batter for the first time in over 5 years.  

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