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Virat Kohli’s Record-Equalling Century and Ravindra Jadeja’s Five-for Lead India to Crushing Victory Over South Africa

In a remarkable display of cricketing prowess, India defeated South Africa by a staggering 243 runs at Eden Gardens, with Virat Kohli celebrating his 35th birthday by notching his 49th ODI century, equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the most ODI tons. Ravindra Jadeja’s exceptional five-wicket haul added to the dominance, solidifying India’s unbeaten streak with their eighth consecutive win in the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Chasing a daunting target of 327 runs for victory, South Africa’s innings started on a shaky note as Mohammed Siraj dismissed the in-form Quinton de Kock for just 5 runs, with the Proteas losing their first wicket with a mere 6 runs on the board. Despite the cautious efforts of Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen, the required run rate continued to escalate.

In the ninth over, Ravindra Jadeja entered the attack and swiftly removed skipper Bavuma for 11, leaving South Africa at 22/2 in 8.3 overs. The following over saw Mohammed Shami join the bowling attack, and he claimed the wicket of Aiden Markram for 9, caught behind by KL Rahul, further weakening the Proteas at 35/3.

Jadeja’s brilliance continued as he dismissed Heinrich Klaasen for 1, resulting in South Africa stumbling to 40/4. In the same over, Shami secured his second wicket by dismissing Rassie van der Dussen for 13, with South Africa now in dire straits at 40/5.

David Miller and Marco Jansen fought valiantly to guide South Africa past the 50-run mark in 15 overs. However, Jadeja was relentless, ultimately dismissing Miller, Keshav Maharaj, and Kagiso Rabada, claiming a five-wicket haul and leaving South Africa in disarray at 83 all out.

India’s innings had earlier commenced with skipper Rohit Sharma aggressively leading the charge, partnered by opener Shubman Gill, who played a supportive role by rotating strikes. The Rohit-Gill combination rapidly forged a 50-run partnership for the opening wicket in just 4.3 overs, taking full advantage of South Africa’s bowlers.

Despite Kagiso Rabada dismissing Rohit Sharma for 40, Virat Kohli’s arrival on his birthday provided stability, and he and Gill guided the team to 91 runs at the end of the first powerplay. Shubman Gill fell to Keshav Maharaj for 23 shortly after the powerplay, but Kohli continued to anchor the innings.

Kohli’s partnership with Shreyas Iyer extended the team’s total past 150 runs, with both batsmen reaching their fifties. They pushed India beyond the 200-run mark in 33.1 overs, but Iyer was eventually dismissed by Lungi Ngidi for 77.

KL Rahul’s eight-run cameo was followed by Suryakumar Yadav’s brief but impactful innings of 22 runs. Ravindra Jadeja joined Kohli, and their partnership helped India reach a formidable total of 326/5 in 50 overs.

Virat Kohli celebrated his 49th ODI century, matching Sachin Tendulkar’s record, as he remained unbeaten on 101 off 119 balls. Jadeja contributed an unbeaten 29 off 15 balls to India’s total.

India’s comprehensive victory showcased their dominance in the tournament as they continued their impressive unbeaten run.

Man of the Match: Virat Kohli

Brief scores:

  • India 326/5 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 101*, Shreyas Iyer 77; Keshav Maharaj 1/30)
  • South Africa 83/10 in 27.1 overs (Marco Jansen 14, Rassie van der Dussen 13; Ravindra Jadeja 5/33).

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