NEW DELHI: South Africa rode on twin centuries from skipper Temba Bavuma (110 off 143 balls) and Man-of-the-Match Rassie van der Dussen (129* off 96 balls) to canter to a 31-run win over India in the first of the three-match ODI series in Paarl on Wednesday. Chasing 297 on a sluggish pitch, the visitors only managed 265/8 in their 50 overs.
South Africa reaped the rewards of disciplined bowling. The fast bowlers stuck to bowling back of length within the stumps while the spin trio of Tabraiz Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj and Aiden Markram accounted for four Indian wickets, for 122 runs across 26 overs. Each of India's top five got starts, but barring Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan none managed a fifty.
Skipper KL Rahul was the first to go, caught behind off an innocuous delivery from Markram. Dhawan and Kohli then stitched a 92-run partnership off 102 balls, keeping the asking rate under check.
Dhawan was more aggressive, picking up from his rich run in Sri Lanka last July where he ended the three-match series as India's top-scorer. He took on the spinners early, often coming down the track to disrupt their lengths, and exploited the field restrictions to collect boundaries.
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