Updated: Sep 29, 2022
India vs South Africa, 1st T20I, Top Performances: Deepak Chahar-Arshdeep Singh share five-wickets, Suryakumar Yadav's 50 off 33 and Keshav Maharaj's 41 off 35 are top performances. India beat South Africa in 1st T20I and take 1-0 lead.
Brief Scores: South Africa 106-8 (Maharaj 41, Markram 25, Arshdeep 3-32) lost to India 110-2 (Rahul 51, Surya 50, Rabada 1-16) by 8 wickets
Player of the Match: Arshdeep Singh for 3-32
India’s new combination with the new ball - Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar - didn’t make them miss Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah with their swing bowling prowess. Arshdeep and Chahar’s role was well-defined and they both showcased their calibre with the new ball, taking five of South Africa’s frontline batters within the powerplay in Thiruvananthapuram.
India take 1-0 lead over South Africa
India jump from one bilateral T20I series to another in a span of four days, this time the opponents being South Africa. While Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will undergo training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), the rest of the squad pretty much remains intact.
Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field first on a green top wicket. For India, Deepak Chahar, Arshdeep Singh and Rishabh Pant were back in the squad. Surprisingly for South Africa, Heinrich Klaasen was benched.
The match was being played at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram and the pitch was literally green. India’s new ball bowlers - Deepak Chahar and Arshdeep Singh - exploited the conditions by bowling some banana swingers which made South African batters dance to their tunes. Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock and David Miller were clean bowled whereas, Rilee Roussouw and Tristan Stubbs were out caught. South Africa had no answers to the swinging deliveries as they were 5-9 within three overs. This was also the lowest total for South Africa after the loss of 5 wickets in T20Is. After the initial slaughter, Keshav Maharaj’s crucial 41 with the bat, along with 24 from Wayne Parnell helped South Africa post a total of 106 at the end of 20 overs.
Chasing 107 was not going to be a walk in the park for India as the pitch was offering lateral movement to the bowlers. After a cautious start, Rohit Sharma was dismissed on a duck by his match-up Kagiso Rabada, who has dismissed Sharma nine times in Test and ODI cricket but had not dismissed Rohit once in T20Is before Wednesday. Much like South Africa, India too were struggling with just 17 runs on the board after 6 overs, just the difference was the wicket column. This was also India’s lowest ever score in powerplays in T20Is. Soon, Virat Kohli was dismissed for three and India were reduced to 17-2.
KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav played sensible cricket, much like a Test match innings to begin with, later freeing their arms on loose deliveries and laid down a solid 93-run partnership for the fourth wicket to seal the game for India on a difficult bowler-friendly wicket. India chased down the target with 20 balls to spare to go one up in the three-match T20I series.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the first T20I between India and South Africa.
Deepak-Arshdeep baffle South Africa with new ball to have them at 9-5 within first three overs
The comeback boys, Deepak Chahar and Arshdeep Singh, must have had bananas for supper as they produced some magical swinging deliveries which made South African batters do salsa with the bat and their footwork.
Deepak Chahar bowled three continuous outswingers to set up Temba Bavuma and followed with an absolutely peach of an inswinger which tempted Bavuma for a booming drive when the ball nipped back in sharply to rattle the stumps. Arshdeep took a leaf from Chahar as he set up Quinton de Kock in similar fashion who ended up chopping the ball back onto the stumps. A full and away swinger was enough to dismiss Rilee Roussouw for a golden duck.
David Miller was watching all the away swingers from the dugout and was welcomed with a beauty of an in-swinger from the left-arm angle of Arshdeep. The ball pitched on a good length, nipped back in sharply through the gates of the left-handed Miller and crashed onto the top of the middle stumps as Miller continued the bandwagon of golden ducks. One brings two, two brings three, as Tristan Stubbs was the third golden duck of the innings, when Chahar bowled a nothing ball but Tristan decided to join Roussouw’s and Miller’s company. This was the third golden duck in a span of five balls. The green track would have been a perfect venue for a Test match but nevertheless, India’s new ball bowlers, Arshdeep and Deepak, ensured that they didn’t miss the red ball in T20I cricket.
Keshav Maharaj - The lone warrior for South Africa with 41 runs
When the chips were down with half of South Africa’s batting line-up back to the pavilion with just nine runs on the board, Keshav Maharaj ensured with his smart yet innovative batting that, he along with other South African bowlers had something to bowl at. Keshav not only played a steady innings but also toyed with the field and India’s bowling plans by playing some unorthodox scoops and reverse laps in his innings of 42 which helped South Africa post 106. If it wasn’t for Keshav’s innings South Africa would have been easily bundled out under 100 runs.
Keshav showcased class with the ball too. On this seam-friendly wicket, Maharaj ensured he supported the fast bowlers by holding one end up with tight and economical bowling of three overs which went for just 21 runs.
‘SKY’ has no limit
Well, the saying goes that sky is the limit, but not for Suryakumar Yadav. Just like his name, he is currently at the centre of the milky way and is in red hot form. Coming in to bat with India at 17-2, Surya top edged his very second delivery of the innings for a lucky six. The very next ball, Surya smashed it right from the middle and no top edges this time as he whipped Anrich Nortje for a huge six over square leg.
While it was not a batter-friendly wicket, Surya and KL both ensured they spent time in the middle and Surya took the odd chances in between to ensure the South Africans were always under pressure defending a smaller target. While Rahul scored a fifty with a strike rate of less than 100, Surya rocketed to his fifty in just 33 deliveries. While the rest of the batters struggled on this green wicket, Suryakumar was batting on a different wicket altogether and looked in total control.
What’s to Come
On October 2, South Africa will look to stay alive in this three-match T20I series as the hosts plays them at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati.