But Kohli handled this phase well in an intriguing battle against Maharaj. Shreyas batted turtle-like, looked like the weak link, but Kohli protected him well in an outstanding Test match-like alliance.
The Birthday Boy also survived a scrutiny for being caught behind on 37 when he pushed defensively against Maharaj’s homer while calling for the Proteas to fall behind.
Replays showed no uptick in UltraEdge, the only opportunity for Maharaj, who made the most of the conditions, but was restricted to figures of 10-0-30-1 under the sheer brilliance of Kohli, who scored 16 off 29 balls against him. .
The Indian duo was helped by South Africa’s second spinner Tabraiz Shamsi not being able to make full use of the conditions, unlike his show at Chepauk.
While Kohli and Iyer played respectfully towards Maharaj, they were happy to take charge against Shamsi.
Kohli brought up his fifty from 67 balls (his sixth from eight innings in the World Cup) in Maharaj’s last match.
Opting to bat, skipper Rohit Sharma gave India a brilliant start before South Africa stopped the run flow with one wicket each from Rabada and Maharaj.
On the pitch where he had an ODI world record of 264, Rohit smashed a 24-ball 40 before Bavuma’s stunning catch at mid-on stopped his innings.
Rohit smashed Rabada powerfully through covers, but the South Africa skipper kept a firm grip on the ball in front of his eyes.
news source (www.nationalheraldindia.com)