Team India kept their winning momentum in the opening match of the T20 International series with a comfortable victory. South Africa failed to chase down the target at Wanderers despite short boundaries and lost the game by 28 runs. With this win, India goes 1-0 up in the series with two matches to go.
South Africa went off to a fiery start as both JJ Smuts and Reeza Hendricks threw kitchen sink behind every opportunity. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar drew first blood and quickly added another wicket in his column with the dismissal of JP Duminy.
David Miller is yet to make a significant contribution with the bat and he failed again. Farhaan Behardien tried to contribute with the bat and led the rescue act. But he perished after sharing an 81-run stand for the fourth wicket with Hendricks, who held the forte from one end.
Heinrich Klaasen came after that wicket but couldn’t contribute to the team’s cause. Hendricks failed to take his team over the finishing line and his efforts ended at 70 to Bhuvi. In the same over, he picked two more wickets and it sealed the victory for India. At the end, South Africa managed just 175/9 in the second innings.
Bhuvi bowled beautifully in the match and registered his maiden five-wicket haul in the T20Is. His bowling figures of 5/24 earned him the man of the match award. He became the first Indian bowler to take fifer in all three formats.
Earlier, Indian batsmen led by Shikhar Dhawan put a great effort to give South Africa a tough chance.
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Dhawan was excellent during his innings and scored his fifty under 30 balls. He was reaching towards his maiden T20I hundred but clever variations from Andile Phehlukwayo got him out at 72, which he made in just 39 deliveries with the help of 10 fours and 2 sixes. All the other batsmen contributed significantly to put a mammoth total of 203/5 in the first innings.
Now, both teams will travel to Centurion for the second game of this T20I leg, which will be played on Wednesday (21 February).