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South Africa vs India 1st T20I – Who Said What

"It was one of our most balanced performances," Virat said.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar of India
Bhuvneshwar Kumar of India. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After the Tests and the ODIs, it was time to shift the focus towards the shortest format of the game. But South Africa’s fortunes in colored clothing didn’t change. The Indian team on being asked to bat first posted a huge 203/5 on the board in their 20 overs and in reply the Proteas could just manage 175 in their 20 overs for the loss of 9 wickets at the Bullring.

The kind of batting surface that was on offer both the captains wanted to bat second. JP Duminy had the coin flip his way and they decided to bowl. They were once again without AB de Villiers, their best batsman and hope had hurt his knee during the 6th ODI and has been ruled out of the two T20Is more as a precautionary move considering the Test series against Australia follows soon.

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India fielded a very different team with Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey and Jaydev Unadkat finding a place in the XI. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma got them off to a flying start. Dhawan was exceptional with his stroke play and registered his 3rd T20I fifty; he was finally dismissed on 72. Sharma, Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey contributed 20s and India finished with 203 runs in their quota of overs.

South Africa were dealt an early blow when JJ Smuts became Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s first scalp, he didn’t let skipper JP Duminy score more than 3 runs and Hardik Pandya got the wicket of David Miller for 9 it seemed as if the Proteas would crumble yet again. But the other opener Reeza Hendricks’ 70 kept them stay in the hunt, Farhaan Behardien did make a contribution with 39 but once wickets started to tumble the Indian bowlers were all over them.

In the end, Bhuvi finished with a five-wicket haul and the Proteas fell 28 runs short of the target. The Indian team thus leads the T20I series 1-0.

Indian captain Virat Kohli said:

The injury was early on in the innings. It was in the glutes while taking a single. Thankfully it wasn’t a hamstring. So I went off before I would tear a muscle. It was a really good wicket to bat on. Rohit and Shikhar were outstanding at the top. It was a total team batting performance and in the end Bhuvi showing his experience – all in all it was a good team effort.

We were looking to do this in T20s for a long. It was one of our most balanced performances. You have to give credit to South Africa for their slog-overs bowling. We were thinking 220 in the 16th over but when Dhoni got out we had to pull it back. In the end it was a winning score.

We wanna make the most of the time we have left here. It’s an opportunity to play for your country every time and we have fresh faces who are looking for those opportunities at all times so there’s a new motivation every time.

Man of the Match Bhuvneshwar Kumar said:

It’s amazing to get five in a T20. I just wanted to bowl in the good areas and it’s a result of that. Seeing how they were bowling and how the wicket was, we planned our bowling and it worked for us. I enjoy bowling in the tough situations. The knuckleball is something I’ve been working on for almost a year. Nowadays you need to figure out new ways to get wickets.

South African skipper JP Duminy said:

Very disappointed. I think in terms of the first six overs with the fall we’re always looking to take some wickets. And they’re going to get boundaries. I was happy in fact. But we couldn’t get any partnerships in. Pretty happy with our plans but we didn’t get the lines right. I thought we could get over the line chasing this target but we didn’t put the partnerships together. Very happy with the new guys. You can’t fault them, it’s up to us experienced batsmen.

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