Jadeja razes South Africa for 83 after Kohli scores 49th ODI ton

Jadeja razes South Africa for 83 after Kohli scores 49th ODI ton

India 326 for 5 (Kohli 101*, Iyer 77, Maharaj 1-30) won South Africa 83 (Jansen 14, Jadeja 5-33, Kuldeep 2-7) by 243 runs

Virat Kohli gifted himself a record 49th ODI century and India their eighth consecutive victory in this World Cup, on his 35th birthday. When Kohli tied Sachin Tendulkar with a single in India’s penultimate innings, a crowd of 60,000 at Eden Gardens celebrated Kohli and made it a memorable birthday party.
Kohli, who came out to bat in the sixth over after Rohit Sharma won the toss and challenged India to bat, batted until the end of the innings, taking India to 326 for 5 over par. He ended up outscoring South Africa, who could manage just 83 in 27.1 overs. Ravindra Jadeja took career-best figures of 5 for 33 to ruin South Africa’s chase and relegate them to their second-lowest total in ODI cricket.

Most of Kohli’s centuries in recent times have had an air of inevitability. Sunday’s innings were the complete opposite. The conditions in Kolkata were difficult and even Kohli had struggled to get the old ball off him. South Africa’s left-arm spinners Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi also challenged Kohli with drifts, drops and spins.

In his first over, Maharaj bowled Shubman Gill (23) with a ripper that hit his outside edge to clip the bail. When Maharaj bowled a similar delivery to Kohli, the ball missed the outside edge. Having got off to a fast start (he was on 17 off 13 balls at one point), Kohli slowed down to avoid spin but navigated that passage of the game to remove the seamers. When Lungi Ngidi returned to the attack in the 35th over, Kohli jumped out of his crease and pushed him for four.

Maharaj’s no-holds-barred spell, 10-0-30-1, was a throwback to the ODIs of the 90s. Even Shreyas Iyer, who is arguably India’s best spin player, couldn’t get Maharaj out of his lines. and lengths. Instead, Iyer fielded Shamsi for four boundaries and allowed Kohli to bat deep in the innings. After scoring 12 off 35 balls, Iyer stepped up to 77 off 87 balls.
Without batting insurance like Hardik Pandya, who has now been sidelined for the rest of the tournament, Kohli refused to take undue risks. Suryakumar Yadav (22) and Jadeja (29) took those risks at the other end, ensuring India crossed the 300 mark.

It was Rohit who laid the foundation for the 134-run third-wicket partnership between Kohli and Iyer. The Indian captain ran out of the blocks in the powerplay, making 40 off 24 balls. He dismantled Marco Jansen, this tournament’s most prolific powerplay bowler, and Ngidi, South Africa’s enforcer in the absence of Gerald Coetzee.

Jansen ended up conceding 94 in 9.4 overs for just one wicket. As for Ngidi, he left the field two balls into the end of India’s innings with an injury scare.

South Africa’s problems then filtered into their batting. Quinton de Kock clipped Mohammed Siraj in the second over, while Temba Bavuma was bowled by Jadeja, who got the new ball away beyond the outside edge.

Things were only going to get tougher against the older, softer ball. Jadeja and Mohammed Shami dominated South Africa’s middle order. Jadeja removed Henrich Klaasen and David Miller, while Shami edged Aiden Markram with Test-match line and length. After bringing a couple of deliveries to Markram from the wicket, Shami had one to leave the batsman and kiss the outside edge.

At one point, it looked like India wouldn’t even need Kuldeep Yadav, their main player, with the ball. But Jansen and his tail moved enough to prompt the introduction of the left arm wrist swivel device. Kuldeep kept them guessing by turning the ball both ways and took two wickets. Jadeja claimed his second five-wicket haul in ODI cricket; he also became the second indian spinnerafter Yuvraj Singh, to get five points in World Cups.