Dhawan, Bhuvi lead India to a 1-0 lead.
1 month ago Yash Soni 0
Different format, same result. India continued their merry way as they brushed past a hapless SA side in the first T20I at The Wanderers.
South Africa, led by the stand-in skipper JP Duminy in the absence of regular captain Faf du Plessis and star batsman AB de Villiers, who had been ruled out because of a knee problem, elected to field first on a batting friendly, green surface, while Suresh Raina made his comeback at No.3 for India.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 18, 2018
The hosts went in with a clear ploy to attack the Indian top order with a barrage of short balls, which quickly misfired when Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma pulled and hooked everything and got India off to a flier. Sharma fell quickly but Dhawan batted in sublime fashion to score 72 off just 39 deliveries. South African pace duo consisting of the inexperienced Dane Paterson and debutant Junior Dala were taken to the cleaners by the Indian top order. At one stage, 220 looked gettable for India, the way they were going, but some good attacking bowling by wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi brought back the reins a little bit.
They would have felt relatively happy going into the break restricting India to 203/5 but it was always going to be a tall order for a very inexperienced batting line-up of South Africa, against a quality pace duo of Bumrah and Bhuvi, and not to mention South Africa’s serial tormentors throughout the ODI series – the two wrist spinners.
SA got off to a decent start with JJ Smuts and Reeza Hendricks with a few early boundaries but the former soon fell to a knuckle ball from Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. Skipper Duminy and the potentially explosive Miller quickly followed suit and it felt like the beginning of the end of SA and another poor batting display.
Never seen Bhuvi bowl that before, great skill! Wow
— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) February 18, 2018
The experienced percentage player Farhaan Behardien in combination with Hendricks gave SA some hope with a good partnership of 81, but three quick wickets, including a very good knock of 70 off 50 from Hendricks, in the space of 16 balls, meant that the game was all but done.
Bhuvaneshwar was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 5/24, and in the process become the only Indian bowler to pick up a fifer in all three formats of the game.
— CricketNDTV (@CricketNDTV) February 18, 2018
After that win in the third Test at Johannesburg, India are quickly making a winning habit, and at this point, there like only one winner when they meet for the 2nd T20I at Centurion on Wednesday, where India will look to seal the series and stake their claim as one of the best limited-overs side going around the world, while the hosts will be looking for some inspiration from somewhere to turn the tides on the visitors.