Kanpur: Captain AB de Villers completed a spectacular century with a six off the final ball of the innings to lead South Africa to a record 303 for five in the opening cricket One-day International against India, here today.
A packed stadium erupted when de Villiers (104 not out off 73 balls) smacked the ball over long-on boundary to bring his 21st ODI hundred, also ensuring that South Africa became the first to score 300 at the Green Park Stadium here. With premier bowler Ravichandran Ashwin not finishing his quota of 10 overs, Indian pacers leaked heavy runs in the death, allowing South Africa to amass 109 off the last 10 overs.
The final over of the innings bowled by Umesh Yadav went for 21 runs as de Villiers ended the innings in a dramatic fashion. Faf du Plessis also scored a handy 62 in the middle overs. The visitors made a sedate start to their innings after winning the toss.
Quinton de Kock (29) and Hashim Amla were solid in their approach and waited for the odd loose ball offered by pace duo of Umesh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. De Kock, playing his first competitive game of the tour, was the aggressor in the brief opening stand. Umesh, returning to action, gave the southpaw a few easy ones on the pads and he made full use of it. His first ball was a half volley on the leg stump and de Kock flicked it past midwicket with ease.
The left-hander struck five boundaries, four of which came though the leg side. While Amla was quiet at the other end, de Kock looked threatening. With the new ball bowlers not providing him the breakthrough, India captain MS Dhoni went to his go-to-man Ashwin. And he took just four balls to strike, having the dangerous de Kock caught at first slip with a loopy off- spinner, leaving South Africa at 48 for one by the end of 10 overs. Thereafter, South Africa chugged along with another handy stand of 59 runs between Amla and du Plessis as the Indians started bowling with more discipline.