Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni put on 98 runs for the fifth wicket as India posted 188-4 in the second T20I against South Africa in Centurion.
The Proteas will feel they have a realistic chance of chasing the target, but will be disappointed about how they finished off after some good work early on.
Chris Morris got the entire ground excited when it looked like he had removed Shikhar Dhawan with the very first ball of the game.
The lbw decision was given straight away by umpire Shaun George, but after a review, it was found that Dhawan had made the slightest of contact with the ball, and it was overturned.
Junior Dala, however, got the early breakthrough for the Proteas when he had Rohit Sharma trapped lbw with his first ball of the second over.
This time, Sharma decided against reviewing the decision, and walked for a duck.
Suresh Raina joined Dhawan in the middle, and India were able to up the run rate. The two put on 44 for the second wicket before Dhawan was caught when he hit a JP Duminy full toss straight to Farhaan Behardien.
In-form Virat Kohli walked out to the middle, but his stay was a short one as he edged a short ball from Dala, and was caught by wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen.
Runs looked like they were starting to dry up for India in the middle of their innings, until Manish Pandey got hold of Tabraiz Shamsi in the 10th over, scoring 19, and got the run rate up again for the visitors.
Raina, who was looking for a big score in the game, was on 31 off just 24 balls when he was trapped lbw by Andile Phehlukwayo, and left India on 90-4 in the 11th over.
The experienced Dhoni joined Pandey at the crease, and he immediately looked to rotate the strike.
Pandey brought up his 50 at the end of the 15th over off Phehlukwayo’s bowling.
Once he reached his milestone, Pandey opened his shoulders and smashed a massive six off a lengthy delivery by Chris Morris as the innings entered the final five overs.
Pandey and Dhoni brought up the 50-run partnership in the 17th over as they looked to undo any good work that the South Africans had done.
With seven balls remaining, Dhoni was given a lifeline when he sent a short Morris ball to the boundary through the hands of Dala.
Paterson’s final over for the Proteas went for 18 runs as Dhoni brought up a well played 50, and India finished the innings on 188-4.
India 188-4 (20 overs): Manish Pandey 79, MS Dhoni 52, Junior Dala 2-28, JP Duminy 1-13
Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix