Cricket

India puts up a stellar show to take 1-0 lead in T20I series

[caption id="attachment_63258" align="aligncenter" width="580"]India takes 1-0 lead in the three match T20I series. Image Source: ICC India takes 1-0 lead in the three match T20I series. Image Source: ICC[/caption]

XtraTime Desk: Virat Kohli led Indian cricket team continued their ODI series momentum in the T20I series as well as they thumped the Protease by 28 runs in the first of three-match T20I series in Johannesburg today. The Men in Blue has taken a 1-0 lead and the next match will be played on February 21. Earlier after winning the toss South Africa sent the visitors to bat first. India posted a mammoth of a total of 203 on board in their alloted 20 overs thanks to brilliant 72 runs knock by their star opener Shikhar Dhawan. In reply the Protease could only manage to score 175 for the loss of 9 wickets before getting all-out. Indian cricket team's pace maestro Bhuvneshwar Kumar took a five-for to break the Protease batting line up.

India, thanks in the main to Shikhar Dhawan (72 off 39 balls, 10 fours and 2 sixes) with good support from the rest of the order, all of whom reached double figures, set the Proteas an extremely challenging target of 204 and Kumar made sure that was not going to happen when he took two wickets up front, including that of home captain JP Duminy, and then three more at the back end, including top scorer Reeza Hendricks (70 off 50 balls, 8 fours and a six).

Kumar’s figures were the second best for India behind Yuzvendra Chahal’s 6/22 against England and were the best ever achieved at this venue.

The Proteas’ day got off to a bad start when AB de Villiers was ruled out of the entire series through a knee injury picked up at practice.

It was nevertheless not entirely a day of doom and gloom for the Proteas. Tabraiz Shamsi seems to have found out a way to dismiss Virat Kohli. He came literally within a millimetre of having the Indian captain stumped during the Port Elizabeth ODI and got him out twice today, first denied by a dropped catch on the boundary before getting his man leg before wicket.

One can’t imagine a better 28th birthday present for Shamsi than the wicket of Kohli!

Hendricks was another inexperienced 28-year-old to show that he is up for the battle of international competition and both new cap Heinrich Klaasen and Andile Phehlukwayo looked ready for this level again although they were left with too much to do.

The Protea went into this match with five specialist bowlers with a combined total of 30 international caps with Junior Dala also being a debutant and in retrospect the Proteas should probably have given the new ball to Chris Morris ahead of either Dala or Dane Paterson. Dala nevertheless had the Proteas best bowling figures (2/47).

Kumar was named KFC Man of the Match.

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