Cricket World Cup 2019: Yuzvendra Chahal helps India keep South Africa to 227
Yuzvendra Chahal took 4/51 on World Cup debut against South Africa. © AFP

SOUTHAMPTON: Asked to bowl by South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis in match eight of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, India did well to keep their somewhat beleaguered opponents to 227/9 in their 50 overs at Southampton’s Rose Bowl.

Jasprit Bumrah used the overhead conditions to hustle out South Africa’s openers in quick time before Yuzvendra Chahal struck four blows to add to South Africa’s woes. For the third World Cup match running, South Africa’s batting disappointed. Chris Morris, playing in place of Dale Steyn, hit a few attacking strokes to dominate a stand of 66 with Kagiso Radaba that helped get the score from 158/7 to 224/8 in the last over.

Three of his team-mates entered the thirties but none managed to get out if to a proper contribution.

After opting to field in South Africa’s matches against England and Bangladesh at The Oval, du Plessis chose to bat in Southampton under overcast skies. It was a strange decision, for there was cloud cover and a bit of movement about. The result was a poor start for South Africa.

Bumrah delivered two strikes in a telling opening spell of 5-0-13-2, in which he hit top speeds and found movement to beat every batsman he bowled to. His first wicket was Hashim Amla, who in the fourth over was forced to defend a delivery that got big on him and took the edge to second slip where Rohit Sharma held a neat low catch.

(FULL SCORECARD: INDIA vs SOUTH AFRICA, SOUTHAMPTON)

In his next over, Bumrah went fuller to Quinton de Kock who flashed his bat at width and nicked to Virat Kohli at third slip for 10.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was also probing, if lower on speed, and hit lovely lengths from which du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen had to be watchful. Bhuvneshwar’s first spell read 5-0-20-0. On other days, he would have had a wicket to show for.

At the end of the Powerplay, South Africa were 34/2. In this time, India bowled 42 dot balls. In the next six overs, South Africa scored 31 runs, as fu Plessis and van der Dussen scampered and edged their way along to a semblance of confidence. Their stand of 54 was snapped by Chahal, who had van der Dussen (22) bowled around the legs when attempting an ill-advised reverse-sweep.

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Five balls later, du Plessis pressed forward to a quicker delivery and was bowled for 38. The grip had been tightened by wrist-spin.

From here, the runs dried up as Kuldeep Yadav joined Chahal in a period of domination for India. JP Duminy (3) was kept quiet and erred in playing back to Kuldeep and was lbw.

David Miller (34) and Andile Phehlukwayo (31) resisted for a while but both had troubles against spin, and duly fell to the persevering Chahal. Miller went first, duped into hitting an easy catch back to the bowler and then Phehlukwayo charged out and was stumped.

Two sixes from Morris somewhat bruised Chahal’s figures – his second spell of five overs yielded 2/31 – but to end with 4/51 on this surface was a very fine effort.

Morris played sensibly and with Rabada (31*) displaying better application than some of his batting team-mates, a nagging partnership flowed. Both ran very well, turning ones into twos excellently. Every few deliveries one of the two would have a swing, and on 41 Morris looked on as a mishit just cleared Bumrah running back off his bowl bowling. Next ball, Rabada timed a sumptuous drive past mid-off for four.

Morris perished for 42 off 34 balls in the last over, lofting Bhuvneshwar to Kohli at long-off. The innings ended with Imran Tahir top-edging Bhuvneshwar straight to cover.

Brief scores: South Africa 227/9 in 50 overs (Morris 42, Chahal 4/51) vs India