Kanpur, Oct 11 (IANS) Skipper AB de Villier’s attacking 104 not out powered South Africa to 303/5 against India during their first One-Day International (ODI) at the Green Park stadium here on Sunday.
De Villiers’ scored his 21st century in just 73 balls as he blasted five fours and six sixes to pulverise the Indian bowlers and help his side register the highest total at the venue. Ravichandran’s side strain injury further helped the visitors as the Tamil Nadu off-spinner could only bowl 4.4 overs in which he picked up a wicket and gave away just 14 runs.
The visiting captain got a strong base to kick on his work as his openers — Quinton de Kock (29) and Hashim Amla (37) — gave him a decent start.
After Ashwin dismissed de Kock, caught by Suresh Raina at slip, South Africa were 45 for one in 8.4 overs. Faf du Plessis (62) joined hands with Amla to forge a 59-run partnership as the former recorded his 17th ODI fifty.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra broke the partnership by bowling out Amla with a faster one and it brought de Villiers to the centre, with his team at 104/2 in 23.2 overs.
The 31-year-old got into business from the word go and alongwith du Plessis, the South Africans negotiated the Indian bowling with ease.
After a 48-run stand, du Plessis perished, adjudged leg before wicket (LBW) against right-arm pacer Umesh Yadav.
With the score at 152/3 in 33.1 overs, left-hander David Miller came in tot support his captain but the former was stumped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the bowling of Mishra.
De villiers was then joined by Jean-Paul Duminy (15) and the duo got intom the act of collecting quick runs with the captain already started the onslaught after completing his half-century in 54 balls.
In the 45th over, de Villiers hit two fours and a six to medium pacer Stuart Binny that set the stage for the final five overs blitz.
In the first ball of the next over, Yadav forced an edge off left-hander Duminy to wicketkeeper Dhoni and it raised Indian hopes of restricting the opponents.
With the score at 238/5, Ferhan Bahardien (35 in 19 balls) came to the middle and started hitting all around the park.
Behardien milked three fours in the 48th over bowled by Yadav, and in the 49th over, de Villiers struck two sixes and a four to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, racing to 98 not out.
Right-hander Behardien exploded in the final over bowled by Yadav, getting 14 runs in the first three deliveries before taking a single and giving it to de Villiers.
De Villiers, playing his his 191st match, missed the fifth ball and with two required to complete his ton and three for his side to reach 300, the captain smacked the final ball over the long on ropes to reach both the targets.