India off to rollicking start in ICC Champions Trophy encounter with South Africa

Cardiff (Wales), June 6 (ANI): India got off to a rollicking start in the inaugural match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 against South Africa here on Thursday, scoring 178 for one of 30 overs, after South Africa asked India to bat first in overcast conditions.

Indian opener Rohit Sharma scored 65 before being caught at square leg of the bowling of Ryan McLaren. His partner Shikhar Dhawan was batting on 89, and has been joined at the crease by one-drop Virat Kohli, who is batting on 15, when reports last came in.

Earlier, A.B. De Villiers captain of South Africa, on winning the toss, said: "It is a bit overcast. There might be movement around. We have gone with four seamers. The other surprise is we are starting with Colin Ingram, he is opening the batting. We don't want to risk Dale Steyn."

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said: "We were looking to bowl as well. I don't think the wicket will change much. Vijay misses out. We can manage this much cold. Birmingham was really cold."

The Proteas went into the match with four pacers-Morne Morkel, Tsotsobe, Ryan McLaren and Rory Kleinveldt.

Ahead of the match, Indian cricket enthusiasts in Cardiff said that they were looking forward to India winning the match against the Proteas.

Pradeep from Kerala said: "We wish India all the very best and we are confident the Indians will emerge victorious."

Other Indian fans, when asked for their reactions and expectations, vociferously exclaimed "Chak De India, Chak De India."

Taki Rao from Rajasthan said: "We are backing Team India, they cannot let us down."

The two teams, India and South Africa have competed against each other in One Day Internationals (ODIs) since 1991. They have met on 66 occasions with South Africa being most successful with 40 victories, India have won 24, and two were declared a no result. The teams have played each other three times at the Cricket World Cup, with South Africa emerging victorious on all three occasions. By Praful Kumar Singh(ANI)

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