India’s Dynamic Duo Take Charge in the First T20I
India continued were it had left off in the ODI series by trouncing South Africa in the opening T20I clash in Johannesburg.
Test series hero, Bhuvneshwar picked up his first five-wicket haul in T20I cricket and earned Man of the Match honours.
Before the match began South Africa was dealt with a heavy blow. AB De Villiers was ruled out of the series with injury.
The only joy for South Africa came in the form of the coin toss. The locals chose to chase on a ground with short square boundaries.
India went after the South African bowling attack from ball one.
At the end of the powerplay, India soared to 78/2. The wickets to fall were of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina. The recalled batsman, Raina struggled to make the most of his recall giving up three chances in a seven ball stay.
Kohli did not resemble the Kohli we saw in the ODI series. The Indian skipper struggled to get bat on ball. Manish Pandey also found batting quite difficult in a subdued 27-ball knock.
India’s first innings score of 203/5 was largely thanks to Dharwan. The opener was particularly severe on anything that was pitched short. His 72 off 39 balls included 10 fours and two sixes.
The South African chase began well with 29 runs coming in the first 16 balls. Bhuvneshwar Kumar found his rhythm and removed both JJ Smuts and Duminy in the next two overs.
South Africa looked lin the hunt was when opener Reeza Hendricks and Farhaan Behardien were at the crease. Their 81-run partnership gave a glimmer of hope to the hosts.
The South African batsmen went after Bhuvneshwar Kumar and they paid for it severely. South Africa lost four wickets in the overincluding a run out.
Kumar had finished his quota of four overs with figures of 5/23. He became the only Indian bowler to take a five-wicket haul in all three international formats.
India has a strong T20I record in South Africa, they have won four out of five matches played in the African nation so far. With two more matches remaining the series, South Africa will be hoping to give a better account of themselves.
India – 203/5 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 72, Manish Pandey 29*; Junior Dala 2-47)
South Africa – 175/9 in 20 overs (Reeza Hendricks 70, Farhaan Behardien 39; B. Kumar 5-24)
India won by 28 runs and leads the 3-match series 1-0
FIXTURES AND RESULTS
Feb 18, Sun South Africa vs India, 1st T20I
New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
India won by 28 runs
Feb 21, Wed South Africa vs India, 2nd T20I
SuperSport Park, Centurion, 06:00 PM LOCAL
Feb 24, Sat South Africa vs India, 3rd T20I
Newlands, Cape Town, 06:00 PM LOCAL
South Africa Squad
JJ Smuts, Reeza Hendricks, Jean-Paul Duminy (c), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dane Paterson, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi, Aaron Phangiso, Christiaan Jonker
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Lokesh Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur