Virat Kohli remains the chase master as India thrash South Africa in first ODI

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Kohli anchored yet another masterful run-chase.

India romped to a comprehensive six-wicket victory over South Africa in the first ODI at Durban to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

The South Africans elected to bat first after winning the toss but were restricted to 269-8 in their 50 overs after some solid work by India’s spinners.

In reply, the visitors managed to chase down the target with ease with more than four overs to spare.

We look at the good and the bad of a high-scoring ODI at Durban.

THE GOOD

INDIA’S WRIST SPIN TWINS THROTTLE PROTEAS

Despite losing Hashim Amla early, South Africa had got off to a flyer with the combined efforts of Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis.

India then pulled back brilliantly as they unleashed their two wrist-spinners in the form of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.

Chahal accounted for de Kock and Aiden Markram in a tight spell while young Kuldeep snared the wickets of JP Duminy, David Miller and Chris Morris to rock South Africa’s middle order.

After racing away to 84-1, the hosts found themselves reeling at 134-5 by the 28th over as the wrist spinners worked their magic. In the 20 overs bowled between them, only 79 runs were scored for the loss of five wickets.

Chahal and Kuldeep rocked South Africa's middle-order.

Chahal and Kuldeep rocked South Africa’s middle-order.

VIRAT KOHLI REMAINS THE CHASE MASTER

The Indian skipper saw his side lose both openers within the first 12 overs in a tricky run-chase but showed no signs of any nervousness on his part to steer his side with another chasing masterclass.

Kohli brought up his 33rd ODI ton and his 20th while chasing after a completely dominant display with the bat. Rarely was the 29-year-old threatened as he dealt with both pacers and spinners with equal aplomb.

He was given able company by Ajinkya Rahane as the two put on a 191-run stand to give India a comprehensive victory.

There is simply no one better than Kohli in a run-chase with the batting maestro now averaging a ton every six games while chasing.

Kohli notched up his 33rd ODI ton.

Kohli notched up his 33rd ODI ton.

THE BAD

AIDEN MARKRAM FAILS TO TAKE HIS CHANCE

Injury to AB De Villiers meant young Aiden Markram was given just his second ODI cap.

The 23-year-old has impressed in his fledgling career so far but things did not go smoothly for him at Durban.

Coming into bat at De Villier’s position at number four, Markram was slow to get off the mark as India’s wrist-spinners tightened their grip.

After nudging his way to nine runs in 20 deliveries, the scoreboard pressure told on the right-hander as he skipped out to attack Chahal.

Unfortunately for Markram, his well-timed flick on the on-side went straight into the hands of Hardik Pandya, bringing to an end his scratchy innings.

IMRAN TAHIR FAILS TO REPLICATE INDIA’S WRIST-SPIN DUO

What the Indian wrist-spinners showed in the South African innings was that slower bowlers would be difficult to get away on the track. Hence, much was expected from the experienced Imran Tahir when the Proteas came out to bowl.

However, the leg-spinner failed to really trouble India’s batsmen. Faf du Plessis would have been looking to Tahir to provide him with the crucial breakthroughs but none were forthcoming.

In the end, Tahir finished wicketless in his 10 overs and although he was not very expensive, he failed to provide South Africa with any penetration.

Tahir was unable to cause any trouble to India's batsmen.

Tahir was unable to cause any trouble to India’s batsmen.

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