Kolkata, November 6- In an electrifying encounter at the iconic Eden Gardens, India faced South Africa in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. It was a memorable match as Indian skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to bat first. Rohit, along with Shubman Gill, set an attacking tone from the very first over, hitting eight boundaries in the first four overs. However, Rohit’s brilliant start was cut short by Kagiso Rabada in the sixth over.
But the birthday boy, Virat Kohli, celebrating his 35th birthday, entered the crease to light up the stadium. Kohli played a brilliant innings, scoring his 49th ODI century and equalling the record for the highest century-maker in ODIs. He was well-supported by Shreyas Iyer, who also played aggressively and reached a fifty.
While South Africa’s spinners managed to slow down the Indian scoring rate in the middle overs, a surge in boundaries from Iyer and Kohli in the 28th over lifted India’s run rate to over six an over. Despite Iyer’s dismissal in the 37th over, Kohli remained unbeaten at 101, and late blows from Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja helped India reach a total of 326/5.
South Africa put up a spirited fight in the field but was unable to contain the Indian batsmen entirely. The teams engaged in a closely contested battle in the death overs, with Jadeja’s big hits helping India set a formidable target.
Rohit Sharma and Temba Bavuma expressed their eagerness for an exciting contest, with only one change in the South African lineup, Tabraiz Shamsi coming in for Gerald Coetzee. India remained undefeated in the tournament, while South Africa had been showing improvement since their initial upset against the Netherlands.
India’s formidable batting and the fine form of bowler Mohammed Shami, who had an impressive 14 wickets in the tournament, made them a strong contender. South Africa’s only concern had been their form while chasing, and they were looking to rectify that in this crucial encounter.
Playing XIs: India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.
The match proved to be a thrilling contest between two strong teams in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.