South Africa thrashed India by nine runs in the rain-hit first ODI on Thursday despite fighting fifties from Sanju Samson (86 not out) and Shreyas Iyer (50). Batting first, South Africa gave India a target of 250 runs in 40 overs. In reply, the Indian team could only score 240 runs for the loss of eight wickets.
David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen put on a century partnership of 139 runs to take South Africa to a challenging score on a difficult wicket. Miller scored an unbeaten 75 off 63 balls with five fours and three sixes, while Klaasen scored an unbeaten 74 off 65 balls with six fours and two sixes.
Samson and Iyer fought hard to take India to this goal. Samson scored 86 off 63 balls with nine fours and three sixes, while Iyer made 50 off 37 balls. After this, Shardul Thakur also struggled, scoring 33 runs in 31 balls with five fours, but due to the failure of the upper order, it proved impossible for India to reach the target.
Although Sanju Samson tried his best to win the team, but in Sanju’s words, he was left behind by just two shots. He said this after the match was over. However, from fans to cricket legends, Sanju’s innings is being praised. Even though Samson could not lead the team to victory, but he has won the hearts of many with his unbeaten innings of 86 runs.
Chasing the target, India had a very slow and poor start. Openers Shikhar Dhawan (04) and Shubman Gill (03) quickly returned to the pavilion and the team could only manage eight runs in the first five overs. After this, Rituraj Gaikwad and Ishaan Kishan took the innings forward with restraint. The duo shared a 40-run 69-ball partnership for the third wicket, but both the batsmen were dismissed one after the other in the 16th and 17th overs before the run-rate could be increased. Rituraj scored 19 runs off 42 balls while Ishaan made 20 off 37 balls.
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India scored only 76 runs in the first 20 overs for the loss of four wickets due to the struggle of the upper order batsmen. Coming to bat at number five, Shreyas Iyer took an aggressive approach and hit three fours in the 21st over of Tabrez Shamsi. Iyer and Samson kept India’s hopes alive with a 67-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Iyer scored 50 runs off 37 balls, including eight fours, but was dismissed in an attempt to increase the run-rate. When India needed 131 runs in 13 overs, Shardul and Samson put on a 93-run partnership to put pressure on South Africa, although India’s hopes fell as Shardul’s 31-ball 33 with five fours fell. It got blurry. When India needed 37 runs in the last two overs, the team added only seven runs in the 39th over of the innings and lost the wicket of Avesh Khan. Despite Sanju Samson’s three fours and a six in the last over, India could reach 240 runs in 40 overs and the Proteas won the match by nine runs.
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