Faf du Plessis’ century goes in vain as South Africa lose to India in Durban

Faf du Plessis’ 120 went in vain as South Africa lost to India by six wickets in the first ODI at Kingsmead in Durban.

cricket Updated: Feb 02, 2018 12:51 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, Durban
Faf du Plessis,India vs South Africa,South Africa vs India
Faf du Plessis in action during the 1st ODI match between South Africa and India at Kingsmead Cricket Ground in Durban. (REUTERS)

Faf du Plessis played a captain’s knock, scoring his eighth ODI hundred but it couldn’t save South Africa from suffering a six-wicket defeat against India in the first ODI at Kingsmead in Durban. (INDIA vs SOUTH AFRICA 1st ODI SCORES)

Du Plessis had, on the eve of the game, pointed out the difficulty in trying to ramp up enthusiasm for the ODIs as the intense Test series had taken a huge toll on his team. He had said that the team was tired. (INDIA vs SOUTH AFRICA 1st ODI UPDATES)

However, he kept up the intensity, showing his class as he maintained a good personal scoring rate through his stay even as wickets fell around him.

The South Africa skipper could get support only when Chris Morris came to the crease and together they added 74 for the sixth wicket to bring their side back in the game.

Du Plessis, who walked in at the fall of Amla’s wicket, had begun well, hammering three successive boundaries off India’s Johannesburg Test star Bhuvneshwar Kumar in his fifth over. Soon he hit Hardik Pandya for two fours in an over.

Things slowed down big time after the dismissal of Quinton de Kock as the skipper and his team struggled to get boundaries. The spinners made the scoring tight. But to his credit, Du Plessis kept collecting the singles to keep the Proteas in the game, even getting some lucky boundaries.

It was only in the 35th over, around the time Morris had begun to look confident as the seamers returned, that he began to get those boundaries off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. Du Plessis was particularly severe on Bhuvneshwar, scoring more fours off him than any India bowler on the day.

A glance got him to his century. Usually reserved in his celebrations, Du Plessis let go of his emotions this time. For a batsman, who has made a living out of batting under pressure, this seemed just a stroll in the park.

First Published: Feb 01, 2018 20:17 IST