On a day when Virat Kohli equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 centuries – the most by a batsman, India walloped South Africa by a massive margin of 243 runs at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday to maintain their clean slate in the World Cup. India have now won eight out of eight matches in the tournament and are sitting on top of the points table with 16 points.
The emphatic victory was significant as it came against a team in second place, just below India.
Chasing a target of 327, South Africa batsmen never seemed in contention as they kept falling at regular intervals to be bowled out for just 83 in 27.1 overs.
The Indian pace attack began well by getting rid of tournament’s leading run-scorer Quinton de Kock, who chopped one from Mohammed Siraj onto his stumps.
The Proteas batsmen then saw off the pace bowlers without scoring, reaching just 21/1 in eight overs.
However, the introduction of Ravindra Jadeja brought another wicket for India as Temba Bavuma was beaten to be bowled.
A flurry of wickets followed as Mohammed Shami picked two and Jadeja picked another to leave South Africa at 40/5.
Marco Jansen and David Miller tried reduce the margin but they couldn’t do by much as Jadeja picked a few more wickets to end with a five-wicket haul (5/33) that aided with his 29 off 15 helped him put up a match-winning all-round show.
Earlier, Kohli scored an unbeaten 101 in 121 balls (10x4s) while Shreyas Iyer made 77 as India scored 326/5 in 50 overs.
Kohli, who was the Player of the Match on Sunday, needs just one more ton to become the batsman with most centuries in ODI cricket.
Earlier, in the afternoon, India batsmen started on a strong note as openers Rohit Sharma (40) and Shubman Gill (23) added 62 for the first wicket to lay a strong platform. After their fall, Kohli and Iyer added 134 runs for the third wicket before Suryakumar Yadav (22) and Jadeja made quick contributions.
India now play Netherlands in the last match at Bengaluru on November 12.