First T20I: Rahul, Suryakumar Master Tricky Pitch To Carry Team India Past South Africa
Thiruvananthapuram: Unbeaten half-centuries by KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav helped Team India overcame a tough start en route to an 8-wicket win against South Africa in the first T20 International here on Wednesday night.
Having restricted South Africa to a paltry 106/8 on a pitch which aided quick bowlers, the home team lost skipper Rohit Sharma (0) and Virat Kohli (3) to be 17/2 in the seventh over.
Suryakumar joined forces with Rahul to weather the storm and ultimately carry India to a comfortable victory, with 20 balls to spare.
It was Suryakumar who looked the most comfortable batsman on a tricky two-paced track as he smacked 5 fours and 3 sixes in an unbeaten 50 off 33 balls for his second straight fifty.
Rahul survived some anxious moments against the fast bowlers to remain unbeaten with 51 off 56 deliveries (2 fours, 4 sixes).
Earlier, South Africa were rocked by new-ball operators Deepak Chahar (2/24) and Arshdeep Singh (3/32) after being asked to bat first by Rohit Sharma.
Four South African batters, including skipper Temba Bavuma, fell for ducks as the visiting team slumped to 9/5 in the third over.
It was thanks to Keshav Meharaj’s 41 that South Africa managed to cross 100.
Harshal Patel (2/26) and Axar Patel (1/16) joined in the party in bowler-friendly conditions.
Brief scores: South Africa 106/8 in 20 overs (Keshav Maharaj 41; Arshdeep Singh 3/32, Deepak Chahar 2/24, Harshal Patel 2/26). India xxx/y (KL Rahul mm, Suryakumar Yadav nn).
Result: India won by f wickets.