DURBAN – Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis scored a magnificent 120 to set South Africa on their way to a total of 269/8 off 50 overs in the first one-day international against India in Durban on Thursday.
Du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat first under blue skies and sweltering Durban heat, and that decision was vindicated by a calm start from Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock.
The former was then trapped lbw by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 16, with replays showing the ball would have clipped leg-stump.
De Kock, who had struggled in the Test series, looked to be getting back to form as he worked his way to 34, before also falling lbw to Kuldeep Yadav.
Had De Kock reviewed that, he would have been spared as the leg-spinner was turning it just past leg-stump.
The South African middle-order then struggled to get to grips with the Indian spin and suddenly slipped to 134/5, with Du Plessis watching the carnage from the other end.
He did find a willing partner in Chris Morris, who struck a timely 37 off 43 balls. He and his skipper added 74 for the sixth wicket, to get South Africa back in the game.
When Morris was bowled by a full toss from Yadav, Du Plessis still needed some help.
Andile Phehlukwayo provided the assistance in the latter stages, contributing a confidence-boosting 27 not out off 33 balls.
Du Plessis fell in the final over for a wonderful 120 off 112 balls, just when his side needed it.
For India, Yadav snared 3/34, while Yuzvendra Chahal chipped in with 2/45.
India will need 270 to win.