T20I-1 vs South Africa: Sky, Rahul, Arshdeep takes India to victorytext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: After a successful chase of a comparatively low target posted by South Africa (SA), India beat them for two wickets in the first one of the 3-match T20I series at the Karyavattom Greenfield International Stadium here in Kerala.
India's victory was driven by the unbeaten half-tons by KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav (Sky), as well as Arshdeep Singh's haul of three wickets along with tight bowling. Further, Deepak Chahar and Harshal Patel seconded Singh with two wickets each, Axar Patel took one wicket and finally, Ravichandran Ashwin choked the run flow with a firm spin.
India had won the toss and sent SA to bat. During the chase, India had a hard start after losing opener cum skipper Rohit Sharma for a duck. He fell prey for SA pacer Kagiso Rabbada. Virat Kohli, while struggling to find runs, took 3 off 9 and gave a catch to the keeper in Anrich Nortje's delivery.
However, in form, Sky joined opener Rahul and worked a rescue, sealing the game in 16.4 overs.
Earlier, Deepak Chahar started SA's fall, taking captain Temba Bavuma out for a duck in the opening over itself. But Arshdeep seemed more determined after taking Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw and David Miller in the second over itself. Tristan Stubbs fell in the next over by Chahar.
It was Keshav Maharaj (41) who tried to find a grip on the pitch and helped SA cross the 100 runs mark.
After the T20I series against Australia, India made four changes in the squad. It withdrew Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal and replaced them with Deepak Chahar, Rishabh Pant, Arshdeep Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin.