Tony de Zorzi leads Proteas to emphatic win over India with maiden ODI century

Proteas left-handed opener Tony de Zorzi scored an unbeaten 119 from 122 balls to steer the Proteas to an eight-wicket win over India in the second one-day international at St George’s Park in Gqeberha on Tuesday. 

De Zorzi and fellow opener Reeza Hendricks (52) put on 130 for the first wicket as South Africa chased down the 212 target in 42.3 overs after winning the toss and electing to field. 

“It was huge for him,” captain Aiden Markram said of De Zorzi’s innings, in only his fourth ODI. 

“To put in a performance like that, to remain not out at the end and to remember how the crowd was to him, we were pretty much in awe.

“It was fantastic to watch. Hopefully, the first of many for him. The dressing room enjoyed it.” 

Nandre Burger of South Africa during the 2nd one-day-international match between South Africa and India at St George’s Park on 19 December 2023 in Gqeberha, South Africa. (Photo: Richard Huggard / Gallo Images)

Earlier, seamer Nandre Burger took 3-30 in 10 overs as South Africa bowled India out for 211, looking to level the three-match series. 

South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl first on a wicket that is tough for scoring, with seamer Beuran Hendricks (2-34), in the side for the injured all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, also among the wickets in his first ODI since April 2021. 

India opening batter Sai Sudharsan followed up his unbeaten half-century on debut with a fluent 62 from 83 balls, while captain KL Rahul scored 56 from 64 balls. They were the only two innings of any substance. 

The tourists were going well at 114 for two but lost their last eight wickets for the addition of 97 runs as South Africa put the squeeze on the scoring rate and forced errors from the visitors, whose innings lasted 46.2 overs. 

The inability of set batters to reach three figures and the loss of eight wickets for 97 runs left India well short of a par score, Rahul admitted following the defeat.  

“It was a hard wicket to bat on, but a couple of us got set. If one of us, including me, could have gone on to get a hundred we could have controlled the innings and got 50-60 runs extra, which could have made a big difference,” Rahul said. 

“When we were batting, we thought 240-250 would be a good total. That is what we were hoping for, but we lost wickets at crucial intervals.” 

Rahul has full faith in his batters ahead of the series decider. 

“We trust the players to come up with their own game plan. Games like this will help them learn and get better as a cricketer.” 

The series decider takes place in Paarl on Thursday. DM


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