Continuing with his high-risk game, Rohit Sharma gave India a flourishing start but South Africa pegged the hosts back by removing the captain and his opening partner Shubhman Gill in their World Cup match, here on Sunday.
Rohit hit a 24-ball 40 and shared a 62-run opening partnership with Shubman Gill (23) but the Proteas left them fighting at 105 for two after 15 overs. The flurry of shots from Rohit’s bat saw India complete 50 runs in just 4.3 overs as the skipper smashed two sixes and six boundaries during his entertaining innings.
However, Rohit could not build on the solid start with pacer Kagiso Rabada taking his wicket. Temba Bavuma hung on to a fast-travelling shot after Rohit could not get enough elevation to clear the fielder at mid-off.
The Proteas skipper swooped to his right to take a great catch.
Gill departed soon, flummoxed by a superb delivery from spinner Keshav Maharaj in the 11th over, which landed just outside leg, turned slightly to beat the young batting sensation and clip the bails.
For a moment Gill was in disbelief, not knowing if it was a stumping or he had been clean-bowled, However, TV referral showed the ball had indeed clipped the bails.
Virat Kohli (24), celebrating his 35th birthday, and Shreyas Iyer (7) were at the crease by the end of the 15th over.
Brief Scores: (After 15 overs) 105 for 2 (Rohit Sharma 40, Shubman Gill 23, Virat Kohli batting 24).
Hosts India, the only unbeaten side in the tournament, are unchanged.
South Africa, on the other hand, have brought in spinner Tabraiz Shamsi in place of pacer Gerald Coetzee.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Siraj.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.