After a cagey start to the chase, India cantered home with 20 balls to spare in the first T20I against South Africa as KL Rahul (51 not out, 56 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav (50 not out, 33 balls) hit contrasting fifties in their unbeaten 93-run stand for the third wicket in Thiruvananthapuram Wednesday. Meaning, India won the low-scoring opener by eight wickets. The second match of the three-match series is scheduled for Sunday (October 2) in Guwahati.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bowl first. Then pacers Deepak Chahar (2/24) and Arshdeep Singh (3/32) produced sensational new-ball spells, reducing South Africa to 9/5 in 15 balls. The spinners did their part to tighten the noose even as Harshal Patel found his groove. But the Proteas fought back to post a fighting total, through Aiden Markram (25 off 24) with Wayne Parnell (24 off 37), then Keshav Maharaj (41 off 35), and Kagiso Rabada. The Greenfield top was still green when the Indian chase began. And the Proteas pacers were making good enough noise to silence the packed Greenfield International Stadium. But, India did just about enough. Catch cricket scores and highlights of IND vs SA, 1st T20I:
10:37 PM IST: Honours
Arshdeep Singh wins the player of the match award for his 3/32 in four overs.
10:17 PM IST: Result
Tabraiz Shamsi with his third over. Suryakumar Yadav takes a single to square leg. KL Rahul rotates the strike, and SKY completes back-to-back fifty, this time in 33 balls (five fours and three sixes). And KL brings up his fifty with a six, in 56 balls, over backward square leg. And India win by eight wickets with 20 balls to spare. IND - 110/2 (16.4); SA - 106/8 (20)
10:13 PM IST: One Hit Away
Kagiso Rabada returns, and he is welcome back with some crunchy drives from Suryakumar Yadav -- fours off the third and fourth. A dot, then a half chance at mid-off. 10 from the over. 1/16 for Rabada. India need 6 runs in 24 balls. IND - 101/2 (16)
10:09 PM IST: Runs, Easy Runs
Anrich Nortje returns. Two dots, then a juicy full toss to KL Rahul. And six over the extra-cover boundary. A quick single to rotate the strike. Then another full toss, and Suryakumar Yadav plays it to wide of third man for a four. A dot to end the 11-run over. India need 16 runs in 30 balls. IND - 91/2 (15)
10:04 PM IST: 0/14 For Parnell
Wayne Parnell returns for his final over. Three singles from it. His figures tonight: 0/14. India need 28 runs in 36 balls. IND - 80/2 (14)
10:00 PM IST: Stand
Keshav Maharaj on with his third over. Singles, then Suryakumar Yadav plays a good-looking inside out for a six off the fourth. A single, then another. 11 from the over. 60-run stand in 41 balls for the third wicket. 43 in the last 30. India need 30 in 42. IND - 77/2 (13)
9:56 PM IST: Big Over
Tabraiz Shamsi returns for his second over. KL Rahul hits the first ball for a six, flat over backward square leg boundary. A couple to backward point. Then a single to long-on. Two dots, then a four drilled through mid-wicket. 13 from the over. India need 41 in 48 balls. IND - 66/2 (12)
9:52 PM IST: Mix-up
Keshav Maharaj continues. Suryakumar Yadav hits the first ball for a four, past point. Then a mix-up. Maharaj stops the ball in front of the ball. Another dot, then singles. A dot to Yadav to end the over. India need 54 runs in 54 balls. IND - 53/2 (11)
9:48 PM IST: KL Six
Play resumes, and KL Rahul gets beaten. Raw pace. Another one, then to cover fielder. Now three dots to KL Rahul, and dropped. KL hits back the fourth, but Anrich Nortje fails to hold onto it. And into the pads. KL flicks it nonchalantly for a six. Nine from the over. India need 60 runs in 60 balls. IND - 47/2 (10)
9:40 PM IST: Stoppage
Anrich Nortje returns for his second over. KL Rahul takes a sneaky single with Suryakumar Yadav at the dangerous end. And two wides. Quinton de Kock, who once again stops the ball with a diving effort, is getting medical attention. Brief stoppage. IND - 41/2 (9.1)
9:38 PM IST: Double Bowling Change
Keshav Maharaj on. Suryakumar Yadav takes a single off the first. A dot, then a single for KL Rahul, past cover. A misfield at cover, by Kagiso Rabada covers some quick ground and makes it only a couple. A dot to SKY. Then a chance. He goes for inside out, and the ball lands just in front of a diving Temba Bavuma. Four from the over. IND - 38/2 (9)
9:34 PM IST: Spin On
Tabraiz Shamsi on. KL Rahul takes a single, then a dot. A wide, down leg. A couple of singles, then one more to long off for SKY. Five from the over. IND - 34/2 (8)
9:29 PM IST: Big Over
Suryakumar Yadav gets a length delivery, into the body, from Anrich Nortje. SKY then gets a leading edge for a six, over third man. And another one, this time flicks over backward square leg. A dot, and a shout for LBW. Inside edge and no reviews left for the Proteas. 12 runs and one wicket in the over. SA - 29/2 (7)
9:24 PM IST: Kohli Goes
Anrich Nortje on, and he gets Virat Kohli. Short and widish, and Kohli goes for cut. Caught behind. Kohli goes for 3 off 9. Suryakumar Yadav is the new man. IND - 17/2 (6.1)
9:22 PM IST: Powerplay Over
Wayne Parnell continues. Three dots, then a fine stop at fine leg by Kagiso Rabada to earn a round of applause. A single for Virat Kohli for the effort though. A dot, then another. One from the over, and that's India's lowest score in powerplay. IND - 17/1 (6)
9:18 PM IST: Decision, decision
Kagiso Rabada continues on with his third over. A dot, then four over cordon for KL Rahul. A couple of dots, including a shout for no-shot offer. Impact outside the line though. Four from the over. IND - 16/1 (5)
9:12 PM ISt: Tidy
Wayne Parnell continues. Five dots, including a huge shout for LBW against KL Rahul off the fifth. A single off the last ball. Brilliant over. IND - 12/1 (4)
9:09 PM IST: Slips
Three slips in place for Virat Kohli. And two dots. Kohli plays an on-drive, for a couple. Fortunate. A dot to end the over. IND - 11/1 (3)
9:06 PM IST: Rohit Goes
Kagiso Rabada continue. A dot, then caught behind. Outside edge, and Rohit Sharma goes for second ball duck. Virat Kohli in the middle. IND - 9/1 (2.2)
9:04 PM IST: Eventful Over
Wayne Parnell, not Anrich Nortje, to share the new ball. Parnell starts with two wides to Rohit Sharma, down leg and issues for Quinton de Kock while stopping the ball. KL Rahul plays the next for a couple to mid-on. And four for KL, clipping and down leg side. Next, review for South Africa for LBW. Front foot, and not bat. Hitting off and umpire's call. Then a wide, down leg. Dots to end the over. Nine from it. IND - 9/0 (2)
8:56 PM IST: Maiden
And it's a maiden over from Kagiso Rabada to KL Rahul. Ball talking!
8:52 PM IST: Ready For The Chase
Players are back for the chase. KL Rahul to open for India, and Rohit Sharma is his opening partner. Kagiso Rabada with the new ball. And there was rain scare. Groundstaff waiting in the wings!
8:40 PM IST: Innings Break
Anrich Nortje takes a single off the second, then a wide outside off. A dot, then a single for Kagiso Rabada to deep mid-wicket. A single to long-on for Nortje. A yorker and one leg bye to end the innings. Six from the last over. 2/26 for Harshal Patel tonight. 43 runs and two wickets in the last 30 balls. SA - 106/8 (20)
8:46 PM IST: Wicket
Harshal Patel with the final over. He starts with a wide, outside off and high. Then the leg stump clatters. Slower and right into the block hole. Keshav Maharaj goes for a brilliant, fighting 41 off 35. 33-run stand in 20 balls broken. Anrich Nortje is the new man. SA - 101/8 (19.1)
8:33 PM IST: Big Over
Arshdeep Singh on with his final over. Keshav Maharaj reverse laps the first for a four, over short third man. Then a slap for a six, over wide third man. A single to mid-off. Kagiso Rabada connects his swing, for a single to deep mid-wicket. And a four for Maharaj, past mid-off. A single to keep the strike. 17 from the over. 100 up for the Proteas. 3/32 for Arshdeep. SA - 100/7 (19)
8:27 PM IST: 1/16 For Axar
Axar Patel on with his final over. Two singles, then a dot to Kagiso Rabada. A couple of singles more, and a dot. 1/16 for Axar Patel tonight. 24 runs and one wicket in the last 30 balls. SA - 83/7 (18)
8:23 PM IST: Keshav Four
Harshal Patel on with his third over. Keshav Maharaj gets a four off the fifth, behind square. Seven from the over. SA - 79/7 (17)
8:19 PM IST: Wicket
Axar Patel continues. Wayne Parnell hits the fourth ball for a four, to square leg. A wide, then holes out. Juggling catch from Suryakumar Yadav. Parnell goes for 24 off 37. Kagiso Rabada is the new man. And a four, beating the keeper to fine leg, for Keshav Maharaj. SA - 72/7 (16)
8:16 PM IST: 0/8 For Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin on with his final over. Singles, off the third and last ball. His figures tonight: 0/8. 21-run stand in 42 balls for the seventh wicket. Wayne Parnell (20 off 32) and Keshav Maharaj (14 off 23). SA - 63/6 (15)
8:13 PM IST: Fine Over
Axar Patel on with his second over. Singles off the first two, then dots to Wayne Parnell. 19 runs in the last 30 balls. SA - 61/6 (14)
8:10 PM IST: 2/24 For Chahar
Deepak Chahar returns for his final over. Wayne Parnell takes a single off the first, then a dot. Keshav Maharaj connects the next for a six, over deep midwicket. Twp more singles, and a brilliant take by a leaping Rishabh Pant behind the wickets. Nine from the over. Biggest of the day so far. SA - 59/6 (13)
8:05 PM IST: Bowling Change
Axar Patel on with his first over. Wayne Parnell takes a single off the first, then five dots to Keshav Maharaj. 15 runs and one wicket in the last five overs. SA - 50/6 (12)
8:01 PM IST: Tidy
Ravichandran Ashwin continues. Wayne Parnell takes a single off the first, to lng-off. Dots to Keshav Maharaj. A single from the over. 0/6 for Ashwin in three overs. SA - 49/6 (11)
7:57 PM IST: Drinks
Harshal Patel on with his second over. A dot, then a four for Keshav Maharaj, behind square. A couple of dots, then a single to deep point. A single to third man. Six from the over. 22 runs and a wicket in the last 30 balls. SA - 48/6 (10)
7:52 PM IST: Maiden
Ravichandran Ashwin on with his second, and a maiden Wayne Parnell (13 off 9).
7:48 PM IST: Six Down
Bowling change. Harshal Patel on. Aiden Markram pulls the fourth ball for a six, over deep mid-wicket. Patel then traps Markram in front with the last ball. Shuffling, and Rohit Sharma takes the review. Hitting middle. A 33-run stand broken. Markram goes for 25 off 24. Keshav Maharaj is the new man. SA - 42/6 (8)
7:42 PM IST: Spin On.
Ravichandran Ashwin with his first over. Four singles, a dot, then a single for Wayne Parnell to cover. 26-tun stand in 27 balls for the sixth wicket. SA - 35/5 (7)
7:38 PM IST: Overthrow
Arshdeep Singh continues. Aiden Markram plays the first ball past extra cover, and an overthrow results in a couple of extra runs. A single, then dots. SA - 30/5 (6)
7:32 PM IST: Six
Deepak Chahar on with his third over. Wayne Parnell takes a couple off the first, to extra cover. Dots, then a six, against the run of play, over mid-off. Clean hit. SA - 26/5 (5)
7:27 PM IST: Flicked
Arshdeep Singh continues. Aiden Markram hits the second ball for a four, a well-timed flick. Then dots. Markram on 14 off 12. SA - 18/5 (4)
7:23 PM IST: Markram Four
Aiden Markram hits the fourth ball for a four, and a single. A dot to end the over. SA - 14/5 (3)
7:20 PM IST: Five Down
Deepak Chahar continues. Aiden Markram takes a single off the second, then Tristan Stubbs, for all his talents, finds an edge and Arshdeep Singh takes a fine catch at third man. Stubbs goes for 0 off 1. Fourth duck in the innings. Wayne Parnell is the new man. SA - 9/5 (2.3)
7:17 PM IST: Four Down
David Miller, another left-handed batter, is in the middle. And he's undone for. Arshdeep Singh on a hat-trick, three in the over. SA - 8/4 (2)
7:15 PM IST: Three Down
Aiden Markram joins Rilee Rossouw in the middle. A dot, and Markram plays a brilliant cover drive for a four. Wide for height, then a down leg. One fine effort from Rishabh Pant to stop it from going for a four. Lot of swing. Then the swing doing the damage! Rossouw (0 off 1) caught behind. SA - 8/3 (1.5)
7:10 PM IST: Two Down
Arshdeep Singh shares the new ball. A dot, then Quinton de Kock drags one. He goes for 1 off 4. SA - 1/2 (1.2)
7:07 PM IST: Wicket
Quinton de Kock takes a single off the second, then three dots. And one big inswinger for castle Temba Bavuma (0 off 4). Rilee Rossouw will be the new man. SA - 1/1 (1)
7:02 PM IST: Chahar On
Deepak Chahar with the new ball. Quinton de Kock to take the first strike. His opening partner is Temba Bavuma.
6:58 PM IST: Ready...
Match officials and players are in the middle. National anthems first.
6:40 PM IST: Playing XIs
Rishabh Pant and Arshdeep Singh in for rested Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Deepak Chahar and Ravichandran Ashwin in for Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Arshdeep Singh.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi.
6:33 PM IST: Toss
India captain Rohit Sharma wins the toss and he opts to field first.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Axar Patel, Dinesh Karthik, Deepak Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Shahbaz Ahmed.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Dwaine Pretorius, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi, Reeza Hendricks, Lungi Ngidi, Keshav Maharaj, Heinrich Klaasen.
Just four months after South Africa's tour of India, the Proteas are back for another round of slugfest in the sub-continent. This time though, both India and South Africa are in the final leg of preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022. In June, the visitors raced to a 2-0 lead, forcing India to fight it out for a 2-2 draw with the decider eventually ending in a no result. Tonight, India and South Africa are meeting for the first time at Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram. The venue has hosted only T20Is so far, with India winning (vs New Zealand in a truncated match in 2017) and losing one (vs West Indies in 2019) each.