KOLKATA: The already-qualified Proteas missed the chance to overtake hosts India at the top of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 table after slumping to a heavy 243-run defeat at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.

Asked to bowl first, South Africa, who had already assured their spot in the semi-finals by winning six out of their previous games, conceded 326 for five after a 49th One-Day International (ODI) hundred by Virat Kohli.

The former India captain, celebrating his 35th birthday, hit an unbeaten 101 (10 fours) and received fine support from Shreyas Iyer (77 off 87 balls, 7 fours, 2 sixes) on what was a tricky pitch to bat.

The Proteas never got going in their reply and slipped to 83 all out in 27.1 overs – their lowest ever total against the Indians.

Although it was a disappointing outcome, Rob Walter and his team still have time to regroup with one more league game against Afghanistan in Ahmedabad to come on Friday before the knockouts begin on 15 November.

And they will want to put this game firmly behind them on what was a forgettable evening in Kolkata.

The home side made a flying start after winning the toss, racing away to 62 for none inside six overs thanks to skipper Rohit Sharma’s 40 off 24 balls.

The excellent Keshav Maharaj (1/30) and Kagiso Rabada (1/48) then managed to wrestle back a degree of control, although failure to take too many wickets meant the opposition were well placed heading to the final 10 overs.

This after Iyer and Kohli put on 134 together for the second wicket to take their side to 227 for two in the 37th.

Even though Lungi Ngidi (1/63) removed the former, the expensive Marco Jansen (1/94) took out KL Rahul (8) and Tabraiz Shamsi (1/72) had Suryakumar Yadav (22) caught behind, Ravindra Jadeja’s explosive 29* off 15 powered India well beyond 300.

Kohli too played his role and along the way became international cricket’s joint-top century maker alongside his legendary countryman Sachin Tendulkar.

The vociferous home crowd then only grew louder as the Proteas struggled from the outset to post their lowest total against their hosts, beating the 99 they fell for in Delhi a little over a year ago.

They failed to deal with the impressive seam bowling trio of Mohammed Siraj (1/11), Mohammed Shami (2/18) and Jasprit Bumrah (0/14), before spinner Jadeja’s five for 33 rolled the South Africans over with more than 20 overs to spare.

The in-form Quinton de Kock, the tournament’s leading run-scorer, was first to go, chopping on from Siraj for five, before Jadeja bowled captain Temba Bavuma for 11.

Shami then accounted for two more of the form players, Aiden Markram (9) and Rassie van der Dussen (13) either side of Jadeja trapping Heinrich Klaasen (1) leg before wicket.

It was 40 for five at that stage and the game effectively over as a contest. The last of the recognised batters in David Miller (11) and Jansen (14) failed to make much of an impact either, with the tail following on what turned out to be a disappointing evening for the Proteas.



Issued by: Cricket South Africa – Corporate Communications


Cricket South Africa (CSA), an affiliate of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), is the national governing body for the sport of cricket in South Africa and administers all aspects of South African cricket, men and women, both in the professional and amateur spheres.