Arshdeep and Deepak Set Up A Crushing Win for India In the Series Opener
India started the T20I series against South Africa with a dominating win. They ticked all the boxes in the first game and left South Africa with lots of questions to answer before the next game.
South African Batsmen Rocked Early by Indian Quicks
Deepak Chahar hasn’t featured in any T20Is for a while, but he was back with a bang. After dishing out 3 consecutive outswingers to Temba Bavuma, he brought one back into him to clean him up. The South African skipper went back to the Pavillion in the opening over without troubling the scorers.
However, the carnage had just started as Arshdeep Singh joined the party. Quinton De Kock dragged one back onto his stumps in the next over. Rossow and Miller followed him to the dressing room for a first-ball duck in the same over. As a result, Proteas were left stunned at 8-4 in the 2nd over, and Arshdeep was on a hat-trick.
Can it get even worse? Yes, it did. Tristan Stubbs became the 3rd batsman to be dismissed for a golden duck in the span of just 5 deliveries. Chahar got his 2nd wicket, and South Africans were reeling at 9 for 5. It was the lowest score by any team against India at the fall of 5 wickets.
The Nightmare Continued for Proteas
Markram and Parnell steadied the ship as SA ended Powerplay on 30 for 5. The two added 33 runs for the 6th wicket, but Markram fell to Harshal on the last ball of the 8th over. South Africa’s last recognized batsman was gone, and so were the hopes of them posting a decent total.
Then, Maharaj joined Parnell in the middle, and Indian spinners drove both of them in a shell. Ashwin bowled one of the most economical spells (4 overs for 8 runs) in the history of T20I cricket. Parnell finally fell to Axar in the 16th over as the score was only 68 in 15.5 overs.
Maharaj’s Fighting Knock
After 18 overs, South Africans found themselves in tatters, with only 83 runs on board and 12 balls left in the innings. Maharaj then thumped Arshdeep for 17 runs in the over before getting out on the first ball of the 20th over. He played an incredibly valuable knock of 41 runs with the help of five 4s and two 6s. SA managed 106 for 8 in the 20 overs.
Edgy Start from the Indian Top Order
The Indian openers started the chase quite cautiously on a tough surface. But then, Rohit fell to a peach from Rabada in the 3rd over when the score was just 9. Followed by that, Parnell troubled Rahul with a slew of inswingers. He managed to survive, and India was 18 for 1 after 6 overs.
Things started to get interesting when Nortje came in the 7th over and nicked out Kohli on the first ball of his spell. The drama continued as SYK smashed the Proteas quick for 2 sixes in the first 3 balls he faced.
Surya and Rahul Got the Job Done
India then started to score runs freely against both pace and spin. After 12 overs, they were 2 down for 66, requiring only 41 more from the last 8 overs.
Nothing much happened for the South African bowlers as Surya and Rahul kept scoring runs on will. Both the batters put on a match-winning partnership of 93 runs of just 63 balls. SKY brought his half-century off 37 balls, and Rahul finished the game in style with a 6. He scored 51* off 56 deliveries.
India now leads the series 1–0 with 2 more games left in this T20I series. The next game will be played in Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati, on Sunday, at 7 pm local time.