Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar starred for India as they defeated South Africa by 28 runs in the first T20 international at the Wanderers on Sunday.
South Africa’s recent problems continued in the T20 arena as they were thoroughly beaten in a game that was relatively one-sided.
Having been set a target of 204 by India, the Proteas wilted under the pressure, and could only reach 175-9 in their 20 overs, despite a fighting 70 by opener Reeza Hendricks.
With South Africa struggling, and having lost the wicket of David Miller, Farhaan Behardien joined Hendricks at the crease and the two put on 81 for the fourth wicket.
But it was never going to be enough as the Indian bowlers kept things tight. Once South Africa lost Behardien, it was all downhill as India quickly removed Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris.
While South Africa’s performance was simply not good enough, the Indians’ win was built on the back of a solid 72 by Dhawan, and Man of the Match Kumar’s 5-24 in four overs.
Skipper JP Duminy admitted after the game that they will have to go back to the drawing board ahead of Wednesday’s game at Centurion. But, without the injured AB de Villiers, and with senior players like Duminy and Miller lacking in confidence, the Proteas will have a mountain to climb.
India 203-5 (20 0vers) – Shikhar Dhawan 70, Manish Pandey 29, Junior Dala 2-47, Andile Phehlukwayo 1-16
South Africa 175-9 (20 overs) – Reeza Hendricks 70, Farhaan Behardien 39, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 5-24, Jaydev Unadkat 1-33
India won by the game 28 runs and lead the series 1-0
South Africa: 1 Jon-Jon Smuts, 2 Reeza Hendricks, 3 JP Duminy (capt), 4 David Miller, 5 Heinrich Klaasen, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Andile Phehlukwayo, 9, Dane Paterson, 10 Junior Dala, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi
India: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Manish Pandey, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Jaydev Unadkat, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
Photo: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images