SA vs IND, 1st T20I, Review: India brush aside South Africa at the Bullring

Bhuvi starred for the team with a five-wicket haul after Dhawan's heroic knock.

India's captain Virat Kohli congratulates teammate Hardik Pandya
India’s captain Virat Kohli congratulates teammate Hardik Pandya. (Photo by CHRISTIAAN KOTZE/AFP/Getty Images)

India have continued their dominance over South Africa in the shortest format as they beat them by 28 runs in Johannesburg. It was yet another thumping performance by the visitors as the bowlers backed up the good work by their batsmen in the first innings. The Men in Blue were too good for the young and inexperienced outfit of the home side as Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar starred in their victory. However, Proteas have to make a comeback in the next game now stay alive in the series.

South Africa skipper JP Duminy invited India to bat first keeping in mind the history as the teams chasing had won all the T20Is before. They were jolted by the injury to AB de Villiers before the match and soon he was also ruled out of the series. For the visitors, however, Suresh Raina came back in the side as Kuldeep Yadav was rested after he hurt his thumb during the final ODI of the six-match series.


Dhawan continues his good form

The Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started off well as the former churned out 18 runs off the first over and cleared the indications right away. Soon he was dismissed though as Raina entered the scene much to everyone’s surprise. He also raced his way to 15 off 7 deliveries before getting out to the debutant Junior Dala which was his second wicket. Dhawan then took over the mantle of the innings along with Virat Kohli as they added 59 runs in quick time for the third wicket.

Kohli was sent back on 26 by Tabraiz Shamsi as he set off for a Tahir-esque celebratory run. However, India had gone past 100 by then with more than 10 overs to go. Meanwhile, Dhawan notched up his half-century off just 27 balls and looked hungry for more. He continued in the same vein and was only dismissed in the 15th over not before scoring 72 off just 39 deliveries. His innings was studded with 10 fours and a couple of huge maximums.

The scoring rate of India slowed down after that as they concentrated on not losing quick wickets. In the end, they posted a mammoth total of 203 runs after 20 overs as the likes of Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya chanced their arms during their respective brief stays in the middle.

South Africa were not good on the field as they dropped catches and also reprieved Dhawan by not appealing when he had nicked the ball. All the bowlers went for runs as the debutant Junior Dala was the pick of the bowlers with 2/47.

What happened in the run-chase?

South Africa needed some player from the top order to play a huge knock to chase down the huge total posted by their opponents. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar baffled the likes of JJ Smuts and JP Duminy with his slower deliveries. The catch of the latter taken by Suresh Raina was special as he had to run backwards while the ball was in the air. Soon Pandya scalped David Miller in the 7th over to reduce them to 48/3.

Then came the rescue stand between Farhaan Behardien and the opener Reeza Hendricks. Both took calculative risks and kept their team in the game by adding 81 runs in less than 9 overs which kept the visitors on their toes. Behardien scored 39 off just 27 deliveries before holing out at long-on off Yuzvendra Chahal. In the process, Hendricks brought up his maiden half-century but his wicket in the 18th over snuffed out all the hopes of the home side. Bhuvi bowled a slower one and the top-edge was safely caught by MS Dhoni.

Hendricks scored a valiant 70 off 50 balls but went in vain in the end. Soon after his wicket, the wheels came off as Heinrich Klaasen also lost his wicket in the same over. Even Chris Morris was gone as Bhuvi registered his career-best figures with a maiden five-wicket haul. He ended with the magical figures of 5/24 in his four overs. In the end, South Africa could only muster 175 runs in their 20 overs. All the Indian bowlers bowled decently on a small ground and a flat pitch and executed their variations perfectly.

Brief Scores

India 203/5 after 20 overs (S Dhawan 72, M Pandey 29*; J Dala 2/47)

South Africa 175/9 after 20 overs (R Hendricks 70, F Behardien 39; B Kumar 5/24)

Result: India won by 28 runs

Man of the Match: Bhuvneshwar Kumar