In a spectacular showdown at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, India emerged triumphant with an emphatic victory over South Africa by a staggering margin of 243 runs. The Indian bowlers put on a masterclass performance, leaving the South African batting lineup in tatters. This formidable win comes a day after their semi-final qualification was sealed due to Pakistan’s victory over New Zealand. Although it may not affect their tournament progression, South Africa must reflect on their performance, as it may impact their confidence as a batting side. India’s relentless bowling attack left a lasting impression on this match, a testament to their current prowess.

South Africa’s approach to batting second has raised questions about their timidity, but it would be unjust to undermine India’s relentless bowling display. It was a case of “It’s not you, it’s me” from India’s perspective. With this victory, India secured the top spot in the group standings even before their upcoming clash against the Netherlands in Bangalore on November 12. South Africa, on the other hand, will regroup and head to Ahmedabad for their next encounter against Afghanistan on November 10, aiming to shake off the effects of this off-day.

The match witnessed a rollercoaster of an innings for India, as they initially set their sights on a target of 350, but at times, even reaching 280 seemed challenging. Rohit Sharma provided an electrifying start, while Virat Kohli achieved a monumental milestone, albeit with some difficulty. Kohli acknowledged the tricky nature of the pitch in the innings break, and it certainly lived up to its reputation.

While Kohli deserves accolades for his performance, Shreyas Iyer’s gritty 77 off 87 deliveries played a crucial role, particularly in overcoming the spin challenge in the middle overs. There was a period of struggle for India between Iyer and KL Rahul, lasting 5.4 overs and yielding just 22 runs. However, late cameos from Suryakumar Yadav (22 off 14) and Ravindra Jadeja (29* off 15) provided the impetus India needed in the final stages. With dew potentially staying away, this formidable total may well prove to be a winning one, even against a strong South African lineup.