• Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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World Cup 2023: Ruthless India thrash South Africa to finish at top; may meet Pakistan in semi-final

The win confirmed India’s place at the top of the points table and they may meet either New Zealand, Pakistan or Afghanistan in the semi-final in Mumbai on November 15.

Indian cricket fans celebrate during the match between India and South Africa in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India, on Sunday, November 5, 2023. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

SOUTH AFRICA were no match for India in their encounter in World Cup 2023 as the hosts crushed them by 243 runs in the round-robin stage at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday (5). The victory meant India defeated every Test-playing nation in the marquee tournament and will take on the Netherlands in their final game in Bengaluru on November 12.

The Men in Blue always looked in control of the match after captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat. He (40 off 24) and Shubman Gill (23 off 24) gave their side a flying start and after their dismissal, it was Virat Kohli (101 not out off 121) and Shreyas Iyer (77 off 87) who laid a strong foundation for India to fire. It was Kohli’s record-equalling 49th century in one-day internationals as he joined compatriot Sachin Tendulkar. Suryakumar Yadav’s 22 off 14 and Ravindra Jadeja’s 29 not out off 15 saw India going past 320.

Spinner Keshav Maharaj was the pick of the South Africa bowlers as he picked one wicket for 30 runs in 10 overs while Kagiso Rabada took one for 48 in his 10. All other South Africa bowlers went for runs.

The African side, which put up massive totals in this tournament batting first but struggled against teams such as the Netherlands and Pakistan batting second, slumped from the very start while chasing 327 in 50 overs as India’s in-form bowlers wreaked havoc, especially the spinners. Jadeja picked five wickets for just 33 runs while Kuldeep Yadav took two for seven. Mohammed Shami claimed two while Mohammed Siraj picked the remaining one. Marco Jansen was the top scorer for South Africa with 14 as the Proteas got bundled for 83 in 27.1 overs.

Kohli, who hit the second century of the tournament, was adjudged the player of the match.

The win saw India cementing their place as the No.1 team in the points table and are likely to meet either New Zealand, Pakistan or Afghanistan in the semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on November 15.

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