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 bring them down to 9/5 in 2.3 overs. South Africa, however, recovered to post 106/8. India lost skipper Rohit Sharma to a duck and star batter Virat Kohli for 3 before the hosts scored with 20 balls left and took a 1-0 lead.
KL Rahul (51*) and Suryakumar Yadav (50*) set up a 93-run undefeated partnership to complete the chase as India enters their last two matches in the format ahead of the T20 World Cup which kicks off next month in Australia.
Surya, by far India’s best T20 batter at the moment, got a streaked six when his attempt at an outside edge turned into an outside edge that flew over the third man for a maximum of Nortje. This happened on the third ball from the seventh over and from the next ball Suryakumar hit another six by whipping the ball over the back square leg
Watch: Suryakumar Yadav’s Stylish Six vs South Africa
Hit it like SKY!
Enjoy that crackling SIX
Follow the match https://t.co/L93S9k4QqD
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 28, 2022
Previously, new-ball bowlers Chahar and Arshdeep made it count after India lost pace to spearhead Jasprit Bumrah due to “back pain” before the start of the match.
Number eight Keshav Maharaj hit 41 from 35 balls to help South Africa make the full 20 overs and add some respect to their meager total.
Chahar tossed skipper Temba Bavuma for a fourth ball duck and fellow opener Quinton de Kock dragged a punch to his stumps from the swift left arm Arshdeep. The Proteas ran into further trouble when Arshdeep left Rilee Rossouw for nothing and David Miller threw in the next ball.
It was South Africa’s worst start ever for a T20 international when Tristan Stubbs fell from Chahar in the third over.
Aiden Markram (25) and Wayne Parnell (24) combined 33 runs for the sixth wicket to slow India’s momentum. Parnell fell over in the 16th but Maharaj held out before his knocking ended in the final when Harshal Patel took his second wicket.
In response, India struggled to 17-1 in the first six overs, with Kagiso sending Rabada Rohit back and then the hosts Kohli lost, caught behind fast bowler Anrich Nortje.
Suryakumar eased the nerves with two sixes, including a lucky one with a lead that sailed over the deep third man to bring the crowd to life.
In-form Suryakumar hit five fours and three sixes in his 33-ball knock and took the bowlers with Rahul, who was at anchor, for company as the two started the chase with clinical precision.
With AFP inputs
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