Nagpur, March 12: India's openers came out with all guns blazing, leaving the South Africans dazed from a belligerent display of batting. Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag took the fight to the Proteas pace battery of Dale Steyn , Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis before laying into the spinners as well. Thus, the home-side raced to 50/0 in 6.4 overs, a 100/0 in 11.4 overs and 150/1 in 19.1 overs. Sehwag got out on 73 off 66 balls, while Tendulkar was not out on 72 off 60 balls after 25 overs with Gambhir keeping him company.
For the fifth consecutive time this World Cup, Virender Sehwag struck the first ball of India's innings for a four. The bowler Dale Steyn, returned to nearly trap the batsman in front. Then in the second over, Sehwag edged Morne Morkel between the keeper and first slip for another four.
Steyn then had a messy 2nd over, going for 14 runs, including for 5 wides, 4 overthrows and a boundary. In the fifth over, Sehwag again got Steyn away for a boundary as India climbed to 33/0 in 5 overs. Then the batsman attacked Morkel again, spanking him for three fours in the 6th over.
Sehwag greeted first-change bowler Jacques Kallis by carting him away for a boundary to bring up India's 50 in just 6.4 overs. Then Tendulkar got into the act, smashing the same bolwer for another four to round off the over. Sehwag and Tendulkar continued to butcher Morkel, teaming up to take three fours off him in the 8th over.
But the carnage was far from over. In the 10th over, Sachin pulled Steyn for a six over square leg. In the 11th over, with the score at 93/0, off-spinner Robin Peterson was introduced into the attack. But Sehwag couldn't be put off. He smacked the bowler for his 10th four to bring up his 50 off just 44 balls. In the same over, India brought up 100/0.
Two overs later, Tendulkar took a single off Peterson to notch up his 50 off 33 balls. Sehwag came in for a bit of luck in the 17th over, when he was dropped by the keeper off Johan Botha.
But in the next over, he wasn't as fortunate when Faf du Plessis bowled him for 73 off 66 balls. India were still in a supremely strong position at 142/1 in 17.4 overs. New batsman Gautam Gambhir took a single of du Plessis to bring up India's 150 in the 20th over. The batting duo kept plugging away for singles and doubles, reaching 174/1 in 25 overs.