South Africa started impressively in the powerplay but soon found themselves in a tough spot at 81/3 with India in the driving seat
South Africa’s David Miller greets India’s Dinesh Karthik after winning the first T20 cricket match. Pic/PTI
The first T20I match between India and South Africa in Delhi saw the visitors blowing away the hosts largely due to two fantastic knocks from the middle order batsmen Rassie van der Dussen (75* off 46 balls) and David Miller (64* off 31). The Proteas knocked off the 212 run target set by the men in blue with 5 balls to spare.
South Africa’s captain Temba Bavuma had won the toss and opted to chase. However, Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad got off to a great start to put the visitors on the back foot. Despite Gaikwad’s dismissal soon after the powerplay, Kishan continued to accelerate and finished as India’s highest scorer in the match with a 48 ball 76.
Bavuma explained his decision at the toss saying, “We expected the wicket to get better as the night went on. Fortunately, the batting came through. Bit tricky to assess the bowling. It was fair considering how good that wicket was. He (Ishan Kishan) made it look very easy. They put us under pressure when our spinners were bowling. Always had a left-right combo that didn’t allow us to settle. Proper batting display.”
In reply to India’s target, South Africa started impressively in the powerplay but soon found themselves in a tough spot at 81/3 with India in the driving seat. That’s when Miller joined van der Dussen at the crease. The pair would then go on to change the course of the game.
Bavuma made sure to praise the efforts of the duo. “David carried his form and well supported by Rassie. Just need to build from this performance. It was a good wicket, probably we can read the situation a bit better, especially the spinners. I am being overly critical because the pitch was good. We will take that result.”
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“We have a lot of belief in Rassie. We have seen him do that time and time again where he kind of starts slowly and then finds a way to bring it back at the end. He is a guy we can see as a finisher in our team. Him partnering with David does make our batting explosive. It was hot but wasn’t so humid. Cut down on some training and make sure everyone is fine.”
India’s skipper Rishabh Pant, filling in for the injured KL Rahul, believed that his team had put up enough runs on the board to defend, but lacked effectiveness with the ball.
He added, “Slower balls were working when we batted, but the wicket got better in the second innings. Mostly we executed our plans (to Miller) but the wicket got better and better. We were very happy with the total but next time we are in a similar situation we will do better.”
Trailing by 1-0 in the 5 match series, India will be hoping to bounce back in the second game at Cuttack on June 12th.
(With Inputs from IANS)