On his 35th birthday, Virat Kohli celebrated with his second century of the World Cup, and Ravindra Jadeja took 5 wickets as India convincingly defeated South Africa by 243 runs at Eden Gardens in a highly anticipated contest between the top two teams in the tournament.
South Africa’s pursuit of 327 began poorly as they lost half their side for just 40 runs within 14 overs. The devastating duo of Jadeja (5-33) and Mohammed Shami (2-18) wreaked havoc, and South Africa ultimately succumbed to only their second defeat, dismissed for 83 in 27.1 overs.
Jadeja was the standout performer, dismantling the stumps of three batsmen, while Mohammed Siraj (1-11) and Kuldeep Yadav (2-7) also contributed significantly to India’s resounding victory.
Kohli’s unbeaten 101 included 10 fours and elevated him to the elite company of Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, both with 49 one-day international centuries. His stellar form continued as he crossed the 500-run mark in the tournament.
Kohli and Shreyas Iyer formed a robust third-wicket partnership of 134, with Iyer scoring 77 runs adorned with seven fours and two sixes. Kohli achieved his century in the 49th over, and India concluded with a total of 326-5, thanks to late contributions from Jadeja (29 not out).
Both teams had already secured their spots in the semi-finals, and Sunday’s match was considered a dress rehearsal for a potential title clash later in the month. India seized the initiative early in the game, opting to bat first after winning the toss. They capitalized on some errant pace bowling by Marco Jansen to make a fiery start. Skipper Rohit Sharma provided a solid foundation with a 24-ball 40 but was eventually dismissed by Kagiso Rabada when he attempted a mid-off launch.
Despite a strong powerplay start that saw them at 91-1, the Indian side faced a setback when opener Shubman Gill (23) fell to an unplayable delivery from Keshav Maharaj in the 11th over, prompting South Africa to regain control of the run-rate with spin.
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