Durban, Feb 1: Skipper Virat Kohli struck another match winning ton while chasing as India beat South Africa by 6 wickets in the opener of the six-match One-day Intertiol series at Kingsmead here on Thursday.
Chasing 270 to win, the visitors reached the target rather easily in 45.3 overs losing 4 wickets. Scoring his 33rd ODI century, 20th while chasing, Kohli went back after scoring 112 off 119balls with 10 fours. He put on 189 runs in 30 overs with Ajinkya Rahane for the third wicket to decide the match. Rahane contributed 79 runs in 86 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes. Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan scored 20 and 35 respectively. MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya remained unbeaten.
Earlier, skipper Faf du Plessis' ninth ODI century helped South Africa recover from a minor collapse to post a competitive 269/8.
Coming in at No.3, du Plessis (120 off 112 balls; 4X11, 6X2) steered the South African ship with three vital half-century partnerships even as the Indian wrist spin duo of chiman Kuldeep Yadav (3/34) and leggie Yuzvendra Chahal (2/45) shared five wickets between them to rip through the top order.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, South Africa got off to a patient 30-run start before Jasprit Bumrah's sharp inswinger trapped opener Hashim Amla (16 off 17 balls; 4X1) plumb in front.
Du Plessis rescued the hosts with a 53-run second wicket stand with stumper Quinton de Kock (34 off 49; 4X4) before Chahal and Kuldeep crippled the hosts with some excellent bowling.
The captain started well by punishing pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for three consecutive boundaries as the second wicket stand started flourishing to 83/1 until Chahal struck with the wicket of de Kock, trapped in front before jolting the hosts with the wicket of Aiden Markram (9 off 21), thanks to a brilliant running catch from Hardik Pandya.
Kuldeep then joined the party with the quick dismissals of Jean Paul Duminy (12 off 18) and David Miller (7 off 7) even as du Plessis looked comfortable driving Kuldeep for a couple of runs through extra cover to bring up his 30th ODI fifty.
Duminy found the going tough against the chiman before a googly, which kept low, broke through his defences leaving the Proteas struggling at 122/4.
Miller, who walked in next, too struggled against the unorthodox Kuldeep and all he could mage was a drive to skipper Virat Kohli, who completed an excellent catch, diving forward at short cover.
Kohli, who had previously sustained a knock, had returned to the field after nursing the bruise and positioned himself closer to the batsman, which helped him complete Miller's catch cleanly.
Tottering at 134/5, the Proteas needed a big partnership to bail them out and all-rounder Chris Morris (37 off 43; 4X4, 6X1) provided the much-needed impetus to the innings by forging a 74-run sixth wicket stand in the company of his captain. IANS
Brief Scores: South Africa 269/8 (Faf du Plessis 120, Chris Morris 37, Quinton de Kock 34; Kuldeep Yadav 3/34, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/45) lost to India 270/4 in 45.3 overs ( Kohli 112, Rahane 79, Dhawan 35, Rohit 20).