T20 World Cup: India Lose First Match, Despite Suryakumar & Arshdeep’s Fine Show

Perth: Team India bowlers gave everything they had but fell just short as South Africa squeezed out a 5-wicket victory with 2 balls to spare in a low-scoring T20 World Cup clash here on Sunday night.

After India managed a modest 133/9 against the searing pace of South African pacers, and that too thanks to one-man-army Suryakumar Yadav’s brilliant 40-ball 68, South Africa were rocked by Arshdeep Singh.

The young left-arm seamer swung the ball both ways to send back the dangerous left-handed duo of Quinton de Kock (1) and Rilee Rossouw (0) in his first over. When Mohammad Shami dismissed struggling skipper Temba Bavuma for a laboured 10, South Africa were in trouble at 24/3.

Aiden Markram and David Miller steadied the ship, but found it difficult to find the boundaries, as South Africa reached 40/3 after 10 overs.

Thereafter, the South African duo put their feet on the accelerator and picked Ravichandran Ashwin to launch an all-out attack. Miller smacked three sixes and Markram one off the off-spinner, who conceded 43 runs in 4 his overs.

India still managed to take the game to the last over, before Miller took South Africa home.

It was India’s first defeat after wins over Pakistan and the Netherlands, while South Africa went atop Super 12s Group 2 with 5 points.

India were left to ponder another top-order batting flop show as KL Rahul (9) failed for the third time in as many games, skipper Rohit Sharma fell for 15 and Virat Kohli managed 12 to end his run of two big scores.

On a pitch with some pace and steepling bounce, Rohit’s decision to bat first backfired as Lungi Ngidi captured 4 wickets.

Only Suryakumar stood out, as he smashed his second consecutive half century in the tournament.

Deepak Hooda, brought into the playing XI in place of Axar Patel, was all at sea and fell for a duck, while Hardik Pandya made just 2.

Dinesh Karthik gave Surya some support in a recovery act from 49/5, but the wicketkeeper-batsman’s share in a 52-run partnership was just 6 off 15 balls.

India have to beat Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to assure themselves of a semifinal berth.

Brief scores: India 133/9 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 68; Lungi Ngidi 4/29, Wayne Parnell 3/15). South Africa 137/5 in 19.4 overs (David Miller 59*, Aiden Markram 52; Arshdeep Singh 2/25).

Result: South Africa won by 5 wickets

India’s next match: Vs Bangladesh on Nov 2 – from 1.30 pm (Adelaide)

Super 12 Group 2 position: SA (5 pts), India (4 pts), Bangladesh (4 pts), Zimbabwe (3 pts), Pakistan (2 pts), Netherlands (0).

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