Group B: India 331-7 beat South Africa 305 all out by 26 runs
India made a victorious start to their Champions Trophy with a 26-run win against South Africa in Cardiff.
A century from Shikhar Dhawan proved to be the difference between the two sides in their Group B encounter. Dhawan (114) shared a 127-run partnership for the opening wicket with Rohit Sharma (65).
Ravi Jadeja made a rapid unbeaten 47 as India posted 331-7 following AB De Villiers decision to field first.
South Africa ran India close, but ran out of overs and wickets when they we all out for 305.
The Proteas were without fast-bowling spearhead Dale Steyn, ruled out by a side strain, and with key all-rounder Jacques Kallis opting to miss the tournament for personal reasons. Opening batsman Graeme Smith was also missing through injury.
Robin Peterson (68) and AB de Villiers (70) added 124 and Ryan McLaren hit 71no but South Africa fell 25 runs behind their opponents.
Morne Morkel was left to carry his side’s bowling attack, and started brightly with his opening four-over spell cost only eight runs. However the support bowlers were less accurate and were seized upon by the India opening pair of Dhawan and Sharma, Lonwabo Tsotsobe one of three to go for in excess of seven and a half runs per over.
South Afric began brightly, even though the prolific Hashim Amla fell early for 22, getting an inside edge off Umesh Yadav in the fourth over having hit 14 off the previous four balls from the inconsistent seamer, Peterson and De Villiers helped South Africa to 77-2 after 10 overs, 24 ahead of India at the same stage.
India always looked on top in the clash and took wickets at regular intervals, chipping away at any resistance provided by the South Africans. McLaren (71*) scored his maiden half-century but it proved in vain as India’s seam attack took the wickets to win the match.
India 331-7 (50 overs)
Dhawan 114, Sharma 65, Jadeja 47*; McLaren 3-70
South Africa 305 all out (50 overs)
McLaren 71*, De Villiers 70, Peterson 68; Jadeja 2-31
Man of the Match: Shikar Dhawan (114 runs)