INDIA: Sanju Samson scored an undefeated 86, but India lost to South Africa in the opening ODI at Lucknow’s Ekana Cricket Stadium. India lost two early wickets while attempting to chase down the 250-run mark, as Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill were both out during the first powerplay. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan were also unimpressive.
Shreyas Iyer played valiantly and reached fifty off just 33 balls before eventually losing the battle. Samson had trouble getting going at first but picked up the pace once he had gone past 50 runs.
Earlier, South Africa scored 249 for 4 in the allotted 40 overs thanks to undefeated fifty-plus scores from David Miller (75) and Heinrich Klaasen (74).
Due to rain, the game was shortened to 40 overs per side. Shikhar Dhawan, the captain of India, chose to bowl first after winning the toss. 250 runs was a huge total due to two factors: first, the match was 10 overs short, and second, the ball was not coming nice onto the bat to score runs quickly, which was the cause of India’s poor batting performance.
“It is always good to spend some time in the middle as we always play to get our team over the finish line. I shall work harder the next time because I failed to connect on two shots. However, I am happy with my contribution. Their bowlers were doing a good job, and since Tabraiz Shamsi was a bit pricey today, we thought we might target them,” explained Samson during a news conference following the game.
The way Sanju Samson played showed his maturity; he tried his best to win the game for India, but the 19th over blunder left India with a huge 30 runs to score in the final over. However, Sanju still managed to score 19 runs; that’s remarkable. Does not Sanju deserve a spot in the T20 World Cup squad?
The defeat left India trailing 1-0 in the series, and India will be looking to level the series in the forthcoming match at JSCA International Stadium on October 9.