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India defeat South Africa by 8 wickets in first ODI

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In Men’s Cricket, India defeated South Africa by eight wickets in the opening ODI of the three-match series in Johannesburg. Chasing 117 runs, India overhauled the target, posting 117 runs for the loss of two wickets in 16.4 overs. Sai Sudharsan with 55 runs and Shreyas Iyer with 52 runs were top scorers for India.
 
Earlier, opting to bat first, the hosts were all out for 116 in 27.3 overs. Arshdeep Singh 5 wickets for India while Avesh Khan took four. KL Rahul is leading Team India, in the absence of Rohit Sharma while South Africa is playing under the captain Aiden Markram.

India hammered South Africa in the ODI series opener at the Wanderers to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The Indian pace attack stunned the hosts after they opted to bat first as Arshdeep Singh managed to finish with a five-wicket haul. He was well supported by Avesh Khan as the duo knocked over the hosts inside 28 overs for 116 runs.

India could have had a wicket first ball had they taken a review but Reeza Hendricks dragged Arshdeep onto his stumps in the following over anyway to depart for a duck. South Africa were under the pump immediately next ball when Rassie van der Dussen was trapped plumb in front for a golden duck. From thereon, India were completely on top despite Tony de Zorzi’s counterattack against Mukesh Kumar.

De Zorzi then pulled Arshdeep for his second six of the innings but he miscued one terribly while attempting a similar shot in the same over to fall for 28. Arshdeep then made it 4 out of 4 when Heinrich Klaasen misread a bit of inward movement to see his stumps get shattered. In no time, 52/3 became 52/6 as Avesh got into the act with a double wicket over to dismiss Aiden Markram and Wiaan Mulder.

South Africa’s tiny hopes of fighting their way back evaporated pretty quick when Avesh added to his tally with David Miller playing a tame shot to edge one behind to the keeper. Andile Phehlukwayo hit a fighting 33 with wickets falling around him and it was his innings that helped South Africa hit three figures. Arshdeep then ended his stay to complete his five-fer as South Africa folded for 116.

Chasing a paltry total, India did lose Ruturaj Gaikwad early as he was trapped leg-before-wicket by Mulder but debutant Sai Sudharsan looked mighty impressive. Shreyas Iyer began with a bang as well by smashing his first ball for a boundary as South Africa desperately seeked wickets in hopes of causing a flutter.

India had knocked off 61 runs in the powerplay with regular boundaries and from thereon, it was only a matter of time. Sudharsan fetched consecutive boundaries off Tabraiz Shamsi and eventually became the 17th Indian to score a fifty on debut. In a bid to finish things off quickly, Shreyas targeted Phehlukwayo for a four and a six to bring up another ODI fifty before getting dismissed. But India got the job done and put South Africa out of their misery in the very next over.

Brief scores: South Africa 116 in 27.3 overs (Andile Phehlukwayo 33; Arshdeep Singh 5/37, Avesh Khan 4/27) lost toIndia117/2 in 16.4 overs (Sai Sudharsan 55*, Shreyas Iyer 52) by8 wickets

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