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India outclassed South Africa in the first One-day International at The Wanderers, securing a resounding eight-wicket victory. Opting to bat first, South Africa’s decision backfired as they were bowled out for a mere 116, their lowest total on home soil in the 50-over format, with Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan wreaking havoc.
Singh claimed an impressive five-wicket haul, conceding 37 runs in his 10 overs, while Khan contributed significantly with figures of 4-27 in eight overs. The dynamic duo bowled a wicket-to-wicket line, dismantling the South African batting lineup, and leaving seven batters either bowled or dismissed leg before wicket. All-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo offered some resistance with 33 runs, but Singh’s final victim marked the end of the host’s dismal innings.
Speaking about his stellar performance, Singh stated, “The plan was to keep it simple,” emphasizing the team’s focus on maintaining basics and exploiting favorable conditions. The unexpected movement off the wicket played into India’s hands as they executed their plan to perfection.
In the pursuit of a modest target, India displayed unwavering positivity, reaching the required 117 runs in just 16.4 overs with an astounding 200 balls to spare. Debutant Sai Sudharsan stole the limelight with an elegant unbeaten knock of 55 runs in 43 balls, including nine fours. His opening partner, Shreyas Iyer, also contributed with a well-crafted 52 from 45 balls.
The comprehensive victory sets the tone for the three-match series, showcasing India’s dominance with both bat and ball. Sudharsan’s debut heroics add a captivating dimension to India’s lineup, promising more exciting performances in the upcoming matches.
The second game of the series is scheduled to take place in Gqeberha on Tuesday, providing both teams with an opportunity to regroup and strategize for a comeback. The absence of several regular players, either due to injuries or resting for the Test series, adds an intriguing subplot to the limited-overs contest.