It was a night of many positives for Team India against South Africa in the first T20I on Wednesday in Thiruvananthapuram. First, Arshdeep Singh (3/32) and Deepak Chahar (2/24) rattled the opposition to reduce them to 9/5 in 2.3 overs. South Africa, however, recovered to post 106/8. India lost skipper Rohit Sharma for a duck and star batter Virat Kohli for 3 before the hosts achieved their target with 20 balls to spare and take a 1-0 lead.
KL Rahul (51*) and Suryakumar Yadav (50*) put on an unbeaten 93-run partnership to complete the chase as India move into their final two matches in the format ahead of the T20 World Cup starting next month in Australia.
Surya, India’s best T20 batter by a distance at the moment, got a streaky six when his attempted flick turned into an outside edge that flew over third-man for a maximum off Nortje. This happened on the third ball of the seventh over and off the next ball Suryakumar hit another six by whips the ball over backward square leg
Watch: Suryakumar Yadav’s classy six vs South Africa
Hit it like SKY!
Enjoy that cracking SIX
Follow the match https://t.co/L93S9k4QqD
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 28, 2022
Earlier, new-ball bowlers Chahar and Arshdeep made it count after India lost pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah to “back pain” before the start of the match.
Number eight Keshav Maharaj hit 41 off 35 balls to help South Africa bat the full 20 overs and add some respectability to their meagre total.
Chahar bowled skipper Temba Bavuma for a fourth-ball duck and fellow opener Quinton de Kock dragged a delivery on to his stumps from left-arm quick Arshdeep. The Proteas slipped further into trouble when Arshdeep had Rilee Rossouw caught behind for nought and then bowled David Miller the next ball.
It was South Africa’s worst-ever start to a T20 international when Tristan Stubbs fell to Chahar in the third over.
Aiden Markram (25) and Wayne Parnell (24) put together 33 runs for the sixth wicket to slow India’s momentum. Parnell fell in the 16th over but Maharaj stood firm before his knock ended in the final over as Harshal Patel picked up his second wicket.
Suryakumar eased the nerves with two sixes including a lucky one with an edge that sailed over deep third man to bring the crowd alive.
The in-form Suryakumar hit five fours and three sixes in his 33-ball knock and took on the bowlers with Rahul, who stood anchor, for company as the two set about the chase with clinical precision.
With AFP inputs
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