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India vs. South Africa: ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

India comes out on top once again!

Nearing the end of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup, the most awaited match between India and South Africa commenced on Nov. 5. India was ranked 1st in the World Cup and has not lost a single one of their matches. However, South Africa was right behind them in 2nd place. If South Africa were to win this match, they would take the 1st place spot and dethrone India. 

“I already knew this was going to be a good game because it’s against the top 2 teams on the leaderboard,” said Arcadia High School junior Nathan Allipeta. 

India seemed to be at its peak performance during this time, as some of their players were doing the best of their seasons. Virat Kohli, former captain of the India national team and a right-handed batsman, had scored more than 400 runs, ranking 2nd in the entire league. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravinchandra Ashwin were also ranked top three in the league for their bowling economy, giving less than four runs an over on average. An over is six balls per pitches and can be thought similar to innings. In a World Cup game, each team gets 50 overs on average. 

Kohli himself talked about how important this game was. “We were probably playing the toughest team in the tournament that we have played so far, to be very honest,” he said.

South Africa was no less than India as well. Quinton De Kock, an opening batsman and wicketkeeper, scored 174 runs against Bangladesh in his earlier game, ranking 2nd within all South African players. They had consecutive 300+ scores throughout the league, the longest streak for any team. This, combined with their offensive bowling, makes them a team to watch out for in the World Cup. 

At the start of the game, India lost a few early wickets, including their captain and opening batsman, Rohit Sharma. This was a big blow to their team as Sharma was a consistent high-scoring player. Yet, the Indian team seemed unfazed as they continued to batter the South African bowling. Throughout the match, even though they lost a few wickets, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer, an attacking top-order batter, maintained their amazing partnership with Kohli even scoring a century. A century is a score of 100 or more runs in a single innings by a batter. This was not how South Africa expected the game to go, as they had hoped to limit the score to below 300. At the end, India had scored 326 runs with five wickets to spare, devastating South Africa. 

However, a main aspect of cricket is the ever-changing pitch. On that day, it was against South Africa. Usually, a pitch will be better for the team that bats second as the ball doesn’t spin as much, making it easier to bat. However, the pitch worked against South Africa, resulting in them losing Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma, an opening batsman, in the first 10 overs. 

Needing to score 327 runs, South Africa needed to maintain a relatively high run rate in order to win. However, with the wickets falling like dominoes, this felt unattainable. In the first 10 overs, they had scored merely 30 runs, on pace to score less than 100. 

The Indian bowlers were ruthless, taking wickets left and right. Jadeja had taken out half the South African team, taking 5 wickets and an economy of 3.67 runs. Mohammad Shami, a fast bowler, and Kuldeep Yadav, a spin bowler, had also taken two wickets each, making South Africa fall into further despair. 

South Africa had lost all of its main batsmen by the 18th over, with only three wickets remaining. 

In the end, India had a clean sweep, finishing the match in 27 overs and only letting South Africa score 83 runs.

“We lost a wicket in the first over and then we stitched a big partnership,” stated Rohit Sharma, the captain of India national cricket team. “We needed someone like Kohli for this match”

Arcadia High School Junior Anas Yousuf explained that even before the game started, he knew that the match was going to heavily favor India. 

“It was embarrassing for South Africa honestly, India bullied them the whole match,” stated Yousuf. 

Securing their eighth consecutive victory, India solidified its position at the top of the group stage, ensuring a commanding lead. Even in their upcoming match against the Netherlands, India is unlikely to ease up on their performance. South Africa, despite the setback, maintains the 2nd spot and has secured a spot in the knockouts alongside India. However, they face the challenging task of overcoming their disappointing performance and starting anew in the knockout stage. Their final league match against Afghanistan provides an opportunity for South Africa to rebuild confidence and strive for victory.



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