India secured a dominant 130-run win over South Africa at the MCG on Sunday to maintain its perfect start to the ICC World Cup.
Shikhar Dhawan’s 137 and a quickfire 79 from Ajinkya Rahane set the tone as India racked up 7-307 from its 50 overs.
In reply, the South Africans were never in the hunt as they were skittled for just 177.
Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed 3-41, while Mohit Sharma and Mohammad Shami both chipped in with two wickets apiece.
Faf du Plessis (55) was the only South African batsman to offer any form of resistance as the Proteas lost their last seven wickets for only 44 runs as India seized control of the group with two wins from as many matches.
The day belonged to Dhawan, who smashed 16 fours and two sixes to lead the way in front of a massive crowd of 86,876, most of them Indian supporters.
Dhawan and Virat Kohli (46) put on 127 for the second wicket, before the opener reached his century – the seventh of his ODI career – off 122 balls.
He was eventually dismissed by Wayne Parnell (1-85 from nine overs) in the 44th over with a catch to Hashim Amla at long leg.
Rahane bashed three sixes in a 60-ball knock before being trapped LBW by paceman Dale Steyn.
MS Dhoni scored 18 to push his team past 300.
South Africa’s reply started shakily, with Quinton De Kock (seven) caught at mid-off in the fourth over.
Amla was out for 22 before skipper AB de Villiers (30) failed to make his ground on a brilliant run out from Mohit.
Du Plessis was out soon after, as South African wickets continued to tumble to be all out well short of the target.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka narrowly avoided a massive boilover, beating minnow Afghanistan by four wickets.
Set 233 to win, Sri Lanka started abysmally as Afghanistan’s promising pace attack reduced the Test nation to 2-2, with both openers out for first-ball ducks.
Things got worse for Sri Lanka as it slumped to 3-18, then 4-51, before Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews came to the crease.
Jayawardene, playing in his last World Cup before retirement, was calm and collected to rack up 100 runs before a late dismissal put the nerves back into Sri Lanka’s run chase.
Mathews was run out for 44, but the tail came good for Sri Lanka as Thisara Perera (47 not out) and Jeevan Mendis (nine not out) guided their team home with 10 balls to spare.
– with ABC