India are looking like a decent tip for this year's ODI World Cup, after a convincing victory over South Africa in their Pool B encounter at the MCG in Melbourne. The reigning champions were always in a strong position after setting a target of 308 and as their opponents' wickets fell during their batting innings, they maintained the stranglehold they had on the match, to finish them off for just 177 runs in reply. That gave the delighted Indians a win by 130 runs and maintained their unbeaten start to the tournament with two successive triumphs.

For the South Africans, the loss was their biggest in World Cup history.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, India's sizeable total owed much to the fantastic knock from Shikhar Dhawan. The 29-year-old left-handed opener scored 137 before being dismissed by Wayne Parnell, after seeing his opening partner Rohit Sharma run out by AB de Villiers without scoring. That initial setback was soon forgotten, as the second wicket partnership between Virat Kohli and Dhawan put on 127 runs, Kohli's contribution being 46, as they built a solid base from which to move on from. Even that was surpassed by the third wicket combination as Ajinkya Rahane put on 125 with Dhawan to accelerate the scoring.

Rahane scored a quick-fire 79 off just 60 balls. India eventually reached 307-7 at the close of the innings, as apart from Vernon Philander (who limped off after bowling just four overs with a hamstring injury), none of their opponents' bowlers could stem the flow of runs. Parnell was particularly expensive, his nine overs leaking 85 runs, the worst by a bowler from their nation in the history of the competition.

The South African response was never really on track to meet such a large total and they finally succumbed on 177 all out, with more than 9 overs remaining to be used. The dismissal of Faf du Plessis for 55, seemed to mark the beginning of the end for the Proteas, as the innings collapsed from 133-4 to all out, with the addition of only 44 runs.

Even the usually phlegmatic de Villiers could only manage 30 in the run chase, as the wickets tumbled at an alarming rate. India kept it simple, reducing the number of poor deliveries to a minimum and waiting for their rivals to make mistakes. The wickets were shared around the bowlers, with Mohammad Shami and Mohit Sharma taking two apiece, while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was perhaps the 'pick' with 3-41.

Prior to the World Cup starting, India had spent two-and-a-half months Down Under without a victory, even losing to the struggling England side during the recent ODI tri-series in that period. Their big game temperament, however, has never been questioned and they remained calm against their supposed major opposition in the pool. Even the statistic that they had never previously beaten the South Africans in a World Cup match, did not seem to concern them. They had a stroke of fortune when Dhawan was dropped by Hashim Amla when he was on 53, but batted sensibly overall, whereas the South Africans looked like they were badly in need of some fielding practice after their performance in the field.