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05-Nov-2023 15:14:00 GMT
India vs South Africa - 37th Match, Kolkata

Kohli equals Tendulkar record as India thrash South Africa

India 326 for 5 (Kohli 101*, Iyer 77) beat South Africa 83 (Jadeja 5-33, Kuldeep 2-7, Shami 2-18) by 243 runs

Kolkata: Virat Kohli equalled the record of fellow India great Sachin Tendulkar after hitting his 49th one-day international century in a dominant 243-run win for the hosts against South Africa in the World Cup in Kolkata.

Kohli, on his 35th birthday, hit 101 not out from 121 balls, sending the crowd at Eden Gardens into a frenzy.

His superb knock helped India post 326-5 from their 50 overs.

South Africa were then skittled out for just 89 after 27.1 overs.

It means India are all but assured of top spot after winning all eight of their group-stage matches.

South Africa, who have already secured a semi-final place, are second on 12 points, two points ahead of Australia in third.

Kohli put on 134 for the third wicket to anchor the India innings with Shreyas Iyer, who came to the crease in the 11th over with the score 92-2 following a typically explosive start by Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill.

Shreyas was eventually dismissed by Lungi Ngidi for 77 from 87 deliveries, before an energetic 22 from 14 balls from Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja's unbeaten 29 from 15 saw the innings end with a flourish.

India's powerful seam attack was backed up by their spinners to breeze through the South Africa batting line-up, with Jadeja the pick of the bowlers taking 5-33.

With India and South Africa leading the way at the top, this match was a potential dress rehearsal for the World Cup final in Ahmedabad later this month.

The convincing nature of this win will do little to alter India's status as heavy favourites to lift the trophy for a third time.

South Africa's fate was perhaps decided when they were asked to chase after losing the toss.

Temba Bavuma's side have scored 428, 311, 399, 382 and 357 when batting first at this World Cup, winning by more than 100 runs each time.

On the two occasions they have chased, the Proteas lost to the Netherlands and scraped a one-wicket victory against Pakistan.

Their innings got off to a terrible start when tournament top-scorer Quinton de Kock chopped Mohammed Siraj onto his own stumps after scoring just six.

Their conservative approach in the powerplay, with the aim of preserving wickets before pushing on later in the innings, also backfired when Bavuma and Aiden Markram fell cheaply to reduce the Proteas to 35-3 after 10 overs.

They never really recovered as wickets then fell with alarming regularity to an India attack that has bowled out Sri Lanka and England for 55 and 129 respectively in their last two matches.

Only four players reached double figures, with bowling all-rounder Marco Jansen top scorer with just 14.

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