IMAGES from the 1st T20I played between India and South Africa at the Wanderers on Sunday
It was another stroll in the park for Team India as the visitors beat South Africa by 28 runs in the 1st T20 International at the Wanderer’s in Johannesburg thanks to Bhuvneshwar Kumar's five-wicket haul following India's stupendous show with the bat.
Batting first, India put on a massive 203 for 5 in their 20 overs, courtesy some big hitting by opener Shikar Dhawan (72 off 39 balls) and later by Manish Pandey (29 not out off 27 balls) who chipped in with a few runs down the order.
In reply, South Africa got off to a poor start and wilted under the pressure of the rising run-rate as they fell victim to some fine bowling by Bhuvneshwar, who registered his career-best figures of 5 for 24.
The hosts were finally restricted to 175 for 9 in their 20 overs, with opener Reeza Hendricks's scoring a 50-ball 70.
India lead the 3-match series 1-0.
Chasing 204, South Africa made a quick start with opener Jon-Jon Smuts (14) and Hendricks putting on 29 off 17 balls as Jaydev Unadkat (1-33) was expensive in his opening spell.
Smuts skied one off Bhuvneshwar and Dhawan took a well-judged catch at mid-on. Two overs later, Raina took a similarly well-judged catch running back from mid-wicket, this time sending back JP Duminy (3) off Bhuvneshwar as well as the hosts managed only 41/2 at the end of the powerplays.
Another skier, this time off David Miller’s bat (9) was also taken by Dhawan as Hardik Pandya (1-45) reduced South Africa to 48/3.
With a mountain to climb, Hendricks was joined in the task by Ferhaan Behardien who smacked 39 off 27 balls, inclusive of three fours and two sixes. He put on 81 runs for the 4th wicket with Hendricks and brought some measure of stability to the South African innings.
Hendricks reached his maiden T20 half-century off 37 balls while Jasprit Bumrah (0-32) had a moment of brilliance at the boundary, pulling the ball back in with an acrobatic jump. But it was six still, as per new rules, as his last touch was on the rope.
South Africa crossed 100 in the 12th over even as the asking rate touched 13 per over.
Yuzvendra Chahal (1-39) took some stick, but finally managed to dismiss Behardien and got the breakthrough India were looking.
Heinrich Klaasen (16) threw his bat around as the Proteas crossed 150. But Bhuvneshwar returned to deal them a quick double blow, removing both Klaasen and Hendricks in the space of four balls.
Chris Morris (0) was then caught off the first ball giving Bhuvneshwar his five-wicket haul.
He became the second Indian bowler after Chahal to pick up a fiver in T20Is. He also became only the third pacer after Pakistan’s Umar Gul (5/6) and Bangladesh’s Ahsam Malik (5/19) to achieve this feat against South Africa in T20 cricket.
Later Dane Paterson (0) was run-out, making it four wickets in the 18th over. Andile Phehlukwayo (13) threw his bat around but it was too much in the end.
Earlier, Dhawan smashed his fourth T20I half-century to power India to a challenging 203 for 5 against South Africa in the opening match of the three-game series.
Dhawan scored 72 off only 39 balls, hitting 10 fours and 2 sixes, while Virat Kohli (26 off 20 balls) and Pandey (29 off 27 balls) also made useful contributions after Rohit Sharma (21 off 9 balls) gave India a power-packed start.
On a batting beauty at the Wanderers, Rohit and Dhawan put on 23 off only 11 balls with the former hitting two sixes during his short stay as the ball was flying to all corners of the park.
Rohit used the bounce in the pitch for his shots, but it brought his downfall as well.
He was caught behind off debutante Junior Dala (2-47) while trying to play over slips as South Africa opted for DRS referral.
Surprisingly, Suresh Raina (15) came out at number 3 and played a handy little cameo. Raina and Dhawan put on 26 runs off 13 balls, with the former smashing two fours and a six.
Raina skied a pull shot off Dala and the bowler gleefully accepted the catch. He was dropped on 7 not out at mid-off by Ferhaan Behardien earlier.
Kohli too got an early life from Behardien as he grassed a simple catch at long on off Tabraiz Shamsi (1-37). The Indian skipper and Dhawan marched on quickly as India were placed at 78/2 after the powerplays.
The duo put on 50 off just 25 balls as India crossed 100 in the 9th over but Shamsi returned to trap Kohli lbw in the 10th over and while the Indian skipper called for DRS, the decision remained in the bowler’s favour.
Dhawan continued smacking the ball and reached his half-century off 27 balls. He added 47 runs with Pandey for the fourth wicket as the Indian innings revolved around him.
He was finally out in the 15th over scooping a catch behind off Andile Phehlukwayo (1-16). After that India lost a bit of momentum in their innings.
Pandey and MS Dhoni (16) had a slower stand in comparison to what the top-order had done, adding only 28 off 21 balls before the latter was bowled by Chris Morris (1-39) in the penultimate over.
Hardik Pandya (13 not out) and Pandey then added 20 runs off 11 balls to ensure that India cross the 200-run mark. It was India’s highest T20I score against South Africa.
Earlier South Africa won the toss and opted to field. Heinrich Klaasen and Junior Dala were handed their debuts, while India brought in Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jaydev Unadkat into the side. They left out Kuldeep Yadav and went in with only Yuzvendra Chahal as the lone spinner.