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Shikhar Dhawan, bowlers guide India to historic win over South Africa
February 22, 2015, 2:12 pm
Shikhar Dhawan slammed his 7th ODI ton.

India finally broke their ICC World Cup jinx against South Africa after beating the Proteas by 130-runs at the MCG. After posting a commendable 307/7 on the board, the Indian bowlers did a brilliant job of restricting South Africa to only 177 runs.

For India, their medium pacers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav produced inspired spells of bowling early on, while Mohit Sharma, came on to nip out the wickets of Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis. The Indian spinners too played their part as South Africa could only scratch their way to 177. For South Africa Faf du Plessis (55) was the only batsman to go past the fifty run mark while the rest of them were stifled by the Indian bowlers.

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan smashed 137 off 146 balls to steer defending champions India to 307 for seven in a key Pool B World Cup match against South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

The left-handed opener, who resides in Melbourne with his British-Asian wife Ayesha and three children, hit 16 boundaries and two sixes in his seventh one-day international century after India won the toss and elected to bat.

Some 80,000 spectators, including retired Indian batting star Sachin Tendulkar, packed the stands to watch a confident display against Dale Steyn and company.

Steyn, one of the most fearsome fast bowlers in the modern game, was clipped by Dhawan over backward square-leg for six and driven over his head for another six by Ajinkya Rahane.

Steyn finished with unflattering figures of one for 55 from 10 overs.

South Africa were hampered further when seamer Vernon Philander hobbled off the field with a hamstring injury after sending down just four overs.

Dhawan, who made 73 during India's tournament-opening 76-run win over Pakistan in Adelaide last Sunday, put on 127 for the second wicket with Virat Kohli (46) and 125 for the third with Rahane (79 off 60 balls).

The 29-year-old Dhawan fell in the 44th over when Amla, who had floored a difficult chance off Wayne Parnell when the batsman was on 53, picked up an easy catch at fine leg off the same bowler.

India lost five wickets for 41 runs after sailing comfortably at 261 for two, but still managed to score 80 runs off the last 10 overs.

With both teams having won their opening games, the winner will almost certainly be assured of a place in the knock-out rounds.

Kohli and Dhawan came together in the third over after non-striker Rohit Sharma was run out for nought by a direct throw by South Africa captain AB de Villiers from mid-off.

Kohli, who scored 169 and 54 at the MCG during the drawn Test against Australia in December and followed that with a match-winning 107 against Pakistan, fell against the run of play.

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