sport news Rohit Sharma ton gives India winning start to World Cup against South Africa

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As the World Cup gave India a noisy welcome, it cleared its throat for the demise of South Africa. After three games and three defeats, they seem determined to write their own epitaphs.

They batted first when they should have bowled, played two spinners when they should have played one, then dropped Rohit Sharma when he had made a single. 

He finished with an unbeaten 122. For the South Africans, it was a comedy of errors, but with little reason to smile. 

Rohit Sharma celebrates after hitting a match-winning hundred for India on Wednesday

Rohit Sharma celebrates after hitting a match-winning hundred for India on Wednesday

Sharma hit 122 from 144 balls to lead India to an ominous six-wicket win in Southampton

Sharma hit 122 from 144 balls to lead India to an ominous six-wicket win in Southampton

By winning with six wickets and 15 balls to spare, India barely broke sweat, even on a testing pitch. Ominously, they didn't even need a contribution from Virat Kohli, who was brilliantly caught for 18 by Quinton de Kock.

And by slotting straight into form only two days after England's defeat by Pakistan, they made an instant bid to become the new tournament favourites. The narrative of this World Cup is changing daily, and it is fascinating to watch.

South Africa may beg to differ. This was another wretched display, from the moment Faf du Plessis chose to bat under cloudy south-coast skies rather than unleash his quicks on India's barely-acclimatised batsmen.

Having come a cropper by bowling first on a used pitch against Bangladesh at The Oval, he seemed to be chasing his own tail. Like some Escher nightmare, South Africa are wandering around in a daze. They need to wake up before Monday's game here against West Indies.

Their batsmen were hit by two early bursts. Well supported by an attacking field, Jasprit Bumrah was irresistible during an opening spell of 5-0-13-2. Hashim Amla, back after a concussion scare, poked low to second slip, before de Kock flashed high to third.

David Miller spills an easy catch in the field on another sorry afternoon for South Africa

David Miller spills an easy catch in the field on another sorry afternoon for South Africa

Chris Morris trips over the stumps as he completes a caught and bowled off of MS Dhoni

Chris Morris trips over the stumps as he completes a caught and bowled off of MS Dhoni

Then

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