India v South Africa, Champions Trophy, Group B, Cardiff June 6, 2013

Faffing du Plessis costs Miller

Plays of the day from the opening match of the Champions Trophy between India and South Africa

Blow of the day
It took South Africa until the 22nd over before they took a wicket but Virat Kohli got a rude awakening from the first ball he faced. Ryan McLaren banged in a bouncer that did not get as high as expected and followed Kohli as he tried to sway outside the line. He dropped his wrists skilfully enough but he was struck full on the helmet grille

Fluff of the day
AB de Villiers batted with panache but his fluffed stumping of Shikhar Dhawan was the low point of a mediocre South Africa fielding display. The bowler, JP Duminy, outdid Dhawan as he tried to defend, well out of his crease. De Villiers had a clear sight of the ball and took off the bails with a flourish but the ball was fumbled and Dhawan escaped. De Villiers' consolation was that Dhawan, 102 not out at the time, only added another 12.

Limping South African of the day
The last thing South Africa needed as India threatened to get close to 350 was the sight of Morne Morkel limping from the field. Morkel failed to finish his seventh over because of thigh trouble, leaving South Africa with the awful prospect that they could enter the next game without Morkel, Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis, three stalwarts in their fast-bowling ranks

Mix-up of the day
South Africa required 145 runs from the final 18 overs. Faf du Plessis, still new at the crease, had only faced five balls and JP Duminy and de Villiers had fallen in each of the previous two overs. There was no room for a mix-up but du Plessis flicked Suresh Raina towards the leg side and rushed out of the blocks, intending to take advantage of the gap at square leg. While turning for a second he slipped; David Miller did not notice and dashed back to finished the run. Ishant Sharma, who had earlier missed running out de Villiers, threw back to Raina, who relayed the ball safely back for MS Dhoni to knock off the bails. After the third umpire was consulted about which batsman, both at the same end, was out, Miller went on his way.

Gesture of the day
Morkel came out to bat, despite the injury that had prevented him completing his spell, with 75 needed off 44 balls and South Africa nine wickets down. It was a gesture of defiance which might have been better undelivered until one considered the importance of net run rate. Morkel could barely run, risked worsening his injury, and logic suggested India had the match won, but he had little choice but to take guard and South Africa gained 48 runs as a consequence.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Amol on June 8, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    Now with Morkel, Steyn, Kallis out, the only quality bowler left in SA squad is McLaren and he is not experienced enough and obviously only a single quality bowler is NOT enough to win any of the matches for a team ...unless a team really desires to chase 300-plus scores in every match. SA has great batsmen, no doubt but what about their bowlers who keep loading their batsmen with the pressure of a huge run-chase ?? I would like to see Morris play.

  • Amol on June 8, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    I really don't know why Tsotsobe has been given such a long rope. He is not a good quality bowler at all. SA should permanently replace him.

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    Amazing to see David Miller's reaction after being run-out without facing a ball. Instead of sulking / berating his partner, he's encouraging his partner so that at least his partner can go on and win the match for the team. He sure has a mature head on his shoulders and this attitude will help him achieve lots in his career. Great to see how he dealt with adversity. #Respect #DavidMiller

  • sri on June 7, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    The game was virtually over when SA were down 7 wickets with nearly 100 runs required. It was there for all to see. The last 3 overs looked like a mere formality. Our bowlers did not contain the tailenders and this NRR may play a crucial role later.

  • Rudy on June 7, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    @Greatest_Game: If Injured tailender itself score 48 runs why dont the very much fitted batsman unable to reach this target... If India is only a better finishers with the bat then how could they win more matches against SA when they batted first (13 of India's 25 win against SA comes when India batted first)… does this means SA's are not good finishers in Batting?

  • des on June 7, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Faf needs to take a long hard look at himself after what he did to Miller. It was embarrassing how he clearly tried to save himself, and given recent form I would have had more hope of SA winning if Miller had stayed.

    Well played India. As for Tsotsobe and Kleinveldt, the less said the better. How Kleinveldt plays for SA when there are 20 better bowlers than him in SA I'll never know.

  • David on June 7, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    @ India_MI_fan … Fast_Track_Bully … RudyinCricinfo Your team won. Why are you complaining? Would they have won by any more if you liked what every other ticket fan or writer had to say? The reality is that the rest of the world are not going to agree with you, & you will not agree with them. And truthfully, India are much better finishers with the bat than with the ball, and that showed today. India's fielding was excellent, but they came close to failing to defend their score because the bowlers could not finish SA off. An injured tail ender cost India 48 runs.That is just a plain fact.

  • Dileep on June 7, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    The overcast conditions did not help SA as their bowling was wayward..steyn would have picked the wickets and morkel might have taken the confidence from steyn

  • Sharad on June 7, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    @Peter Wright - You have way too much expectations of your team. Aren't they allowed to have one bad day? "South Africa contrived to lose" - This is the fodder for media to use the #ch0kers. How about focus on the positives - Peterson batting and McLaren's all-round display. In fact if you went by just this game then McLaren could be the new Kallis of the one-day game. Have some faith and don't fret about losing. You've got an intimidating batting line-up, just need the bowling to click. Good luck.

  • Rudy on June 7, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    Whenever India wins the match apart from against of Subcontinent team, no one will accept or appreciate the Indians effort to make them win.. Everyone complaining India is not good in foreign soil... like tht no other country are good in Indian soil as it is the foreign soil for the visitors, but none of the vistors hasnt been crtisied for unable to adapt themself for spinning conditions.. only seem bowling is not the cricket.. it is a part of cricket...