India defeated South Africa 331-305 in the first Champions Trophy meeting between the two countries since 2002.
It didn't take long for the top-ranked One Day International side to exert its dominance. The Men in Blue were able to accomplish a rare feat against the Proteas by surpassing a 100-opening stand, as pointed out by statistician Rajneesh Gupta.
The last time a 100-opening stand was made vs SA was when Sehwag & Tendulkar put on 142 at Nagpur in WC game - more than 2 years ago! #ct13— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) June 6, 2013
The combination of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli provided the ideal start for India by making easy work of the South African bowlers. Dhawan was particularly impressive, scoring his first century in this format to help grab a commanding lead.
Even though India entered as one of the tournament favorites, it was still surprising to see such a comprehensive performance during the early overs. If the Men in Blue continue to play at that level throughout the event, they will be tough to beat.
As if things weren't going bad enough for South Africa, Morne Morkel exited with an injury (via ESPN). He was the only bowler having some measure of success. The Proteas were already attempting to overcome the absence of Dale Steyn, too.
Steyn's not playing, and now Morne Morkel walks off mid-over with a niggle. This is a nightmare for South Africa #Ct13— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 6, 2013
All told, after 50 overs India had scored 331 runs despite some stronger play from South Africa in the latter stages of the at bat. It put a lot of pressure on the Proteas batsmen.
At the outset, it looked like they were ready for the challenge. The initial surge brought back memories of South Africa's comeback to stun India at the 2011 Cricket World Cup. A repeat performance would have been another shocker.
The Proteas got the start they needed. At the first break they had already posted 114 runs, which was well above the required run rate necessary to catch India. Alviro Petersen and AB de Villiers were leading the charge.
Unfortunately for the South African side, the comeback stalled out from there. Aside from a couple brief spurts, the India bowlers were able to limit the damage and ensure their large lead was safe.
Another comeback wasn't in the cards, but the Proteas deserve a lot of credit for fighting back after it looked like India was going to demolish them in the early going.
And it's all over. Morne is bowled to give India victory by 26 runs. Good bounce back boys but wickets lost in clusters is what did us in.— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) June 6, 2013
India will return to the pitch on Tuesday, June 11 for a matchup with the West Indies. South Africa will look to rebound from the loss by taking down Pakistan one day before on June 10. For a complete list of fixtures, visit ICC cricket's official site.