Rohit Sharma piles the misery on South Africa as India impress at Ageas Bowl in Cricket World Cup

The first-ever ICC Cricket World Cup game at the Ageas Bowl ended with India piling more misery on South Africa.

Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 7:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 9:39 pm
Rohit Sharma of India bats during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between South Africa and India at the Ageas Bowl. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Set a target of 227 for nine to win a magnificent unbeaten 122 by Rohit Sharma helped India to a six-wicket victory in their opening game of the tournament.

For South Africa it was a third successive defeat.

It was an entertaining occasion in front of a packed house of mainly noisy flag-waving India supporters.

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South Africa were soon regretting their decision to bat first as Jasprit Bumrah (two for 35) opened up with a terrific spell of aggressive bowling.

In his first over he sent down a ball that seamed in and almost cut Quinton de Kock in two.

Bumrah didn't have to wait long before striking the first blow when in his next over he had Hashim Amla caught at second slip by Rohit Sharma.

Bumrah struck again in the sixth over. De Kock, trying to drive a ball that was full and wide, could only edge it to Virat Kohli at third slip.

The South African batsmen continued to have a torrid time and the total of 34 after 10 overs represented the lowest opening power play of the tournament to date.

Faf du Plessis (38) and Rassie van de Dussan (22) steadied the ship but the introduction of spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (four for 51) and Kuldeep Yadav (one for 46) did more damage.

South Africa were in dire straits at 98 for five but brave resistance from lower order batsmen David Miller (31), Andile Phehlukwayo (34) and Chris Morris (42) lifted them to 227 for nine at the close of their innings.

The fall of Shikhar Dhawan, caught behind off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada early in the India innings restored some hope in the South Africa ranks.

India captain Virat Kohli fell to a terrific one-handed diving catch from wicket-keeper de Kock off Phelukwayo with India on 54 for two.

But a superb innings century by Sharma ably supported by KL Rahul (26) and MS Dhoni (34) ensured India got the victory.