Sports News, Champion Trophy 2013 : Shikhar Dhawan smashed 114 off 94 balls as India posted a commanding 331-7 after being sent in to bat by South Africa in the Champions Trophy opener in Cardiff on Thursday.
The left-hander led a batting feast by the Indians against a depleted South African attack missing premier fast bowler Dale Steyn due to a side strain in a warm-up match on Monday.
South Africa’s injury plight worsened when the other strike bowler Morne Morkel limped off the field with a thigh injury in his seventh over and was ruled out for the rest of the match.
Dhawan put on 127 for the first wicket with Rohit Sharma (65) and 83 off 77 balls for the second with Virat Kohli (31) as overcast conditions at the toss made way for bright sunshine as the day progressed.
India slipped from 210-1 to 260-5, but an unbeaten 47 from 29 balls by Ravindra Jadeja steered the World Cup champions past the 300-run mark.
Dhawan, a 27-year-old from New Delhi, rose to fame in March when he plundered the Australian attack for 187 off 174 balls on his Test debut.
He appeared to continue in the same vein, hammering 12 boundaries and a six, and reached his maiden one-day century with two consecutive boundaries off seamer Rory Kleinveldt.
The openers made a slow start, scoring just 15 runs in the first five overs, before the floodgates opened when Sharma drove Lonwabo Tsotsobe over the covers for six.
The first 50 came up in 10 overs, before the pair smashed the next 50 in 39 balls to bring up India’s hundred in the 16th over.
Sharma, who looked in fine touch during his 14th one-day half-century, gifted his wicket in the 22nd over when he pulled Ryan McLaren to Robin Peterson stationed at square-leg.
Kohli also holed out in the deep off Tsotsobe, Dhawan followed soon after in the 38th over, caught at square-leg off JP Duminy, and the in-form Dinesh Karthik fell for 14.
Pakistan and the West Indies are the other two teams in the group, with the top two advancing to the semi-finals. (AFP)