India National Cricket Team led by Rohit Sharma dominantly won by 8 wickets against Temba Bavuma’s South Africa National Cricket Team in the T20I series opener at the Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday, September 28.
India won the toss and asked South Africa to bat first in the match. The decision to bowl first turned out to be a gem of a decision for the side as pacers Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar demolished the Proteas batting unit. Together they dismissed Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw, David Miller and Tristan Stubbs to reduce South Africa to 9/5.
In the end, South Africa were able to post 106 for 8 with the help of Keshav Maharaj, Wayne Parnell and Aiden Markram’s decent batting performances. Keshav scored 41 runs off 35 balls, including 5 fours and 2 sixes, while Wayne Parnell and Aiden Markram contributed 24 and 25 runs respectively.
Chasing the target, captain Rohit Sharma and former captain Virat Kohli failed to score good runs. However, middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul added 93* runs in 63 balls to help India chase down the target with 20 balls remaining.
India’s highest ranked T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav smashed a sensational 50 runs off 33 balls, including 5 fours and 3 sixes, and KL Rahul, who finished off the match with a six, scored 51 runs off 56 balls, including 2 fours and 4 sixes.
We knew the bowlers will get something seeing grass on the pitch – Rohit Sharma
During the post-match presentation ceremony, captain Rohit Sharma said that the wicket was tricky. He asserted:
“The wicket was tricky. You learn a lot playing such a game. You understand what the team needs to do in tough conditions. It was nice to play a game like that.”
Rohit Sharma added that he didn’t expect the bowlers to get help from the surface for the entire match. He said:
“We knew the bowlers will get something seeing grass on the pitch, but we didn’t expect help for the full 20 overs. It was still damp.”
Rohit Sharma further lauded bowlers for their brilliant performance in the match and added that the partnership between Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul was very crucial for the side. He elaborated:
“Both teams were in the contest and the team that played better won the game. We started well, got 5 wickets in quick time and that was the turning point. A perfect showcase of how to bowl when there is help for the pacers. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Got to respect the conditions. Lost two wickets and that partnership between KL and Surya got us home.”
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