India’s seamers Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan orchestrated a remarkable victory against South Africa in the first One-day International (ODI) at The Wanderers. Opting to bat first, South Africa faced a disastrous outcome as they were bowled out for a mere 116 runs, marking their lowest total on home soil in the 50-over format. Singh and Khan spearheaded the bowling attack with Singh claiming a five-wicket haul, conceding 37 runs in his 10 overs, while Khan secured an impressive 4-27 in eight overs. The comprehensive victory saw India chasing down the target with ease, propelled by the unbeaten 55 runs on debut from Sai Sudharsan.
The decision to bowl first after winning the toss proved disastrous for South Africa, as they encountered a relentless Indian bowling attack. Singh’s remarkable figures of 5-37 and Khan’s 4-27 highlighted their mastery of a wicket-to-wicket line, resulting in seven South African batters either being bowled out or dismissed leg before wicket. All-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo offered some resistance with 33 runs from 49 balls before becoming Singh’s fifth and final victim.
Reflecting on his outstanding performance, Singh shared, “The plan was to keep it simple. I hadn’t opened my account in One-Day Internationals, having played three games before this, so to get a five-for is really special.” The unexpected movement on the wicket surprised the Indian team, but Singh emphasized their adherence to basics and the right lengths.
Chasing the modest target, India exhibited positivity and determination, reaching 117 for the loss of only two wickets in just 16.4 overs. Debutant Sai Sudharsan showcased his batting prowess with an elegant and unbeaten 55 runs in 43 balls, including nine fours. Shreyas Iyer provided valuable support, contributing 52 runs from 45 balls before being caught with victory in sight.
The second game in the three-match series is set to take place in Gqeberha on Tuesday, promising continued excitement on the cricketing field. Both teams, missing several regular players due to injuries or rest, are using the series as preparation for the subsequent two-match Test series.
As India’s seamers shone in the series opener, the comprehensive victory not only sets a positive tone for the team but also underscores the depth and talent within the squad. The dominant performance by the bowling unit and the clinical execution in the chase serve as a testament to India’s prowess in limited-overs cricket.