INDIA: India beat South Africa by 8 wickets in the first T20I with their effective swing bowling. Pace bowlers Arshdeep Singh (3/32) and Deepak Chahar (2/24) kept South Africa to 106/8.
Although the chase was not easy, half-centuries from KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav helped India cross the finish line in 16.4 overs.
KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav both scored unbroken fifties as India defeated South Africa in the opening T20I by eight wickets while chasing a target of 107. Suryakumar Yadav (50 not out off 33) gave India some much-needed momentum in the chase after a shaky start.
Following the early dismissals of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul (51 not out of 56) had also found his feet.
Earlier, with the help of the three wickets taken earlier by Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar, and Harshal Patel, India was able to restrict South Africa to a total of 106/8 in 20 overs, which was below par.
After winning the toss, Chahar ignited India’s innings by dismissing Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma with the final ball of the first over.
To frighten the guests, Arshdeep then got rid of Quinton De Kock, Rilee Rossouw, and David Miller in the second over.
In the third over, Chahar claimed his second wicket, adding Tristan Stubbs to the death list. For South Africa to surpass the 100-run threshold, Keshav Maharaj (41) provided a solid rear guard.
Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, and Yuzvendra Chahal were replaced by Deepak Chahar, Rishabh Pant, Arshdeep Singh, and Ravichandran Ashwin in the Indian team’s four changes from the third Twenty20 international match against Australia.
Both teams’ hitters struggled to adjust to the pace and movement of the pitch, which former India head coach Ravi Shastri described as “not perfect for T20 cricket”.
“We were aware that it wouldn’t be simple. You’ve got to abide by the rules. We lost two wickets, but KL and Surya’s combination helped us reach home,” Rohit Sharma said in the post-match presentation.