Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/6/7/dhawan-century-sinks-proteas

Dhawan century sinks Proteas

UPDATED 08 June, 2013 10:18AM AEST | 2

A century from Shikhar Dhawan helped India to a 26-run victory over South Africa in the ICC Champions Trophy curtain-raiser.

Dhawan batted beautifully as he anchored the India innings with an impressive 114 off 94 balls, and he was ably supported in his task by Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja.

And, though South Africa had looked in good shape as they chased India's 9-331, a batting collapse saw them fall short.

India were immediately put on the back foot as the match got under way, with South Africa winning the toss and electing to field.

However, Rohit and Dhawan put on 127 for the opening wicket, blunting the bowling of Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe with some fine strokes in the process.

Rohit was the first of the two to go, seeing his innings ended at 65 from 81 balls as he attempted to pull a Ryan McLaren delivery to the boundary but only found the grateful hands of Robin Peterson.

However, that setback did not stop Dhawan, as he kicked on to become only the second left-handed batsman to score a century against South Africa in six years.

In the meantime, Virat Kohli - who had replaced Rohit at the crease - contributed 31 from 46 deliveries before his innings was ended by a Tsotsobe catch from Hashim Amla's bowling.

Dhawan was then handed a let-off on 102 when AB de Villiers fumbled a stumping opportunity off JP Duminy's bowling.

But the South Africa captain's mistake did not prove too costly as, just five overs later, the 27-year-old was out after sweeping another delivery from Duminy straight to substitute fielder Aaron Phangiso at square leg for 114.

Two overs later, India's dominance appeared to be under threat, as Dinesh Karthik departed for just 14 while Suresh Raina could only contribute nine.

But, despite losing partner MS Dhoni to another catch on the boundary, Jadeja stayed cool as India piled on 40 of the last 22 balls.

South Africa's reply got off to the worst possible start, as they lost openers Amla and Colin Ingram inside four overs.

Ingram was first to go, edging a Bhuvneshwar Kumar delivery to second slip for just six, and 10 balls later Amla was following him back to the pavilion after being caught behind off Umesh Yadav for 22.

Despite those early setbacks, South Africa continued to stay ahead of the required run-rate thanks to some impressive batting from Alviro Peterson and de Villiers.

The pair put on 124 runs with some excellent shots and hard running between the wickets, but their resistance would be ended in the 25th over as Peterson was brilliantly run out by Jadeja.

Jadeja then dismissed Duminy lbw for 14 and was on hand to take a catch to dismiss de Villiers after he top edged a Yadav delivery.

Four wickets subsequently fell for just 73 runs as South Africa fell short of their target despite a final partnership of 48 between Morkel and McLaren.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 07 June, 2013 8:57AM AEST

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