Ranchi (Jharkhand): India lost the toss in a must-win game against South Africa. Still, they did manage to win the match by seven wickets with 4.1 overs to spare here at the JSCA Stadium to level the three-match ODI series 1-1.
“The toss worked perfectly, I am glad. Thanks to Keshav that he chose to bat (laughs). I must say that Ishan and Shreyas, the way they created that partnership was great to watch,” said skipper Shikhar Dhawan in the post-match presentation ceremony. After winning the toss South African captain Keshav Maharaj opted to bat first and that turned out to be an advantage for the hosts as the dew factor made things easier for the batters to score runs and hence India chased down the 279-run target in 45.5 overs.
“The ball was coming on nicely but it was keeping low. So our plan was to take on the bowlers in the first ten overs. But once the dew came into the picture, it was skidding on. So the back-foot shots were easy to execute,” said Shikhar Dhawan.
Slow left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed made his ODI debut he was introduced as the first change and he got his first international wicket in the form of Janneman Malan for 25. Mohammed Siraj was the pick of the Indian bowlers picking up three wickets and also helping the hosts restrict visitors to 278/7 in 50 overs.
“I am very pleased with the bowlers, especially Shahbaz, the way he bowled in the first ten overs and got us the breakthrough,” said Dhawan.
With this win, India will head to the third ODI in New Delhi with momentum by their side. Both teams have everything to play for to clinch the series.