Kanpur, Oct 11: The match was nicely setup. The battle between two of the best individuals on either side was going on. But it ended abruptly with no result due to an injury to one of the players. The contest was between India's offspinner R Ashwin and South Africa captain AB de Villiers.
During the 1st ODI at the Green Park Stadium on Sunday, Ashwin was bowling brilliantly. He gave India the first breakthrough after South Africa opted to bat. However, his superb stint at the bowling crease was cut short by an injury.
Ashwin, in his 100th ODI, struck in the very first over of his by getting Quinton de Kock caught by Suresh Raina at first slip. Captain MS Dhoni took his ace spinner out of the attack immediately after the successful opening over.
It was a deliberate move by Dhoni to keep Ashwin away as he wanted him to bowl at the opposition team's best batsman - De Villiers. And when the right-hander arrived at the crease after the fall of the second wicket, Ashwin seemed to be winning the contest while bowling at him.
In 12 balls bowled by Ashwin to De Villiers, the latter was kept quiet and managed just 5 runs. But there was no further battle as Ashwin went off the field as he dived to his right to stop a ball off his own bowling the innings' 32nd over.
Ashwin had to leave the field after experiencing, what appeared as a side strain. His figures till then read 1/10 in 3.4 overs. Virat Kohli completed the over. Later, Ashwin was seen practising in the warm-up ground but was still in discomfort putting a doubt about his participation as a bowler in rest of the match.
The spinner had dismissed De Villiers in both the preceding Twenty20 Internationals. However, the South African had defended himself by saying he got out due to his own fault not Ashwin's bowling.
Dhoni and the Indian fans will be hoping that the injury is not serious and he is soon back on the field to resume his battle.