India produced a dominating performance with bat and ball and in the field to outplay the Castle Lager Proteas to the extent of a 130-runs victory in their ICC World Cup Pool B match at Melbourne on Sunday.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan struck 137 off 146 balls in India win over South Africa. Photo by: Pal Pillai - BCCI - SPORTZPICS

It was India’s third biggest winning margin against South Africa, their first in a World Cup match and by far the largest outside the sub-continent.

India’s victory was set up by two century partnerships after they had lost Rohit Sharma run out in the third over thanks to a brilliant direct hit from extra cover by AB de Villiers after India had won the toss.

Man-of-the-match, Shikhar Dhawan (137 off 146 balls, 16 fours and 2 sixes), and Virat Kohli (46 off 60 balls, 3 fours) put on 127 for the second wicket and Shikhar and Ajinkya Rahane (79 off 60 balls, 7 fours and 3 sixes) a further 125 for the third wicket.

The Proteas fought back strongly towards the end of the innings, limiting India to 80/5 in the last 10 overs, in spite of the loss of Vernon Philander who broke down with a leg injury and was only able to bowl 4 overs. In the circumstances thee decision to play Wayne Parnell as a fifth specialist bowler ahead of Farhaan Behardien was an important one.

Chasing more than 300 for victory the Proteas needed a strong reply but they lost too many wickets too quickly and their position was not helped by two run outs among the top six. There were several other soft dismissals.

What must be particularly disturbing is that, starting from the run out of De Villiers, they lost eight wickets for 69 runs and barely batted through 40 overs.

The Proteas’ next match is against the West Indies on Friday.