It was a sold-out crowd of 86,876 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground ,their hopes were realized as India produced a commanding performance to sweep AB de Villiers’s men aside. Shikhar Dhawan’s seventh One-Day International hundred and a truly wonderful mid-innings flourish from Ajinkya Rahane had muscled India, batting by choice, to 307 for 7, but it was what followed that was special.
Shikhar Dhawan smashed 137 off 146 balls as defending champions India whipped mighty South Africa by 130 runs to step closer to a quarter-final berth in the World Cup on Sunday.After Shikhar Dhawan's phenomenal century (137) and Ajinkya Rahane (79) and Virat Kohli's (46) contributions, it was Ravichandran Ashwin's 3/41 and Mohit Sharma's 2/31 completed India's all-round thrashing of South Africa.
The bowling was relentlessly aggressive as Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma cranked up the pace on a surface that had become livelier under lights, but it was the fielding that shone the brightest.Wonderful athleticism and accuracy from the deep from Mohit and Yadav resulted in the run outs of de Villiers and David Miller respectively. Games turn on just one such dismissal; two were two too many for South Africa.To see India field with the brilliance that it did must have been particularly heart-warming for Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose side took a giant stride towards the quarterfinal with a comprehensive 130-run victory after South Africa was bowled out for 177 with nearly ten overs to spare
With two wins from as many games — India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan by 76 runs last Sunday — Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men will move into the quarter-finals if they beat the unfaniced United Arab Emirates in Perth on February 28.