Singh helps India rout South Africa in T20 opener
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India (AP) — Arshdeep Singh routed South Africa’s top-order to help India register an eight-wicket win in the first Twenty20 international on Wednesday.
Left-arm pacer Singh took 3-32 in his four-over spell as India restricted South Africa to 106-8. In reply, Suryakumar Yadav continued his run of form by scoring 50 not out as India finished with 110-2. Lokesh Rahul made 51 not out.
Put in to bat, South Africa was reduced to 9-5 in 2.3 overs and never recovered as India’s new-ball pairing of Singh and Deepak Chahar (2-24) tore through the Proteas’ batting lineup. Chahar bowled Temba Bavuma for a four-ball duck and later had Tristan Stubbs (0) out caught first ball as well.
Singh did the most damage, though, picking up three wickets in four balls in the second over of the innings.
Quinton de Kock was out bowled for 1. Then Rilee Rossouw was caught behind and David Miller bowled again, both for first-ball ducks. Singh missed the hat trick but South Africa’s innings was in total disarray and recorded its lowest powerplay score since 2007 with 30-5.
Aiden Markram (25) played some attacking shots to up the ante. He hit three fours and a six, putting on 33 runs for the sixth wicket with Wayne Parnell (24). Harshal Patel (2-26) and Axar Patel (1-16) accounted for the two batsmen, respectively.
Keshav Maharaj’s 41 off 35 balls provided some relief and took South Africa past the 100-mark. He hit five fours and two sixes to save his team from total embarrassment.
Chasing a paltry target, the Indian openers also struggled on the green-top wicket.
Rohit Sharma fell for a two-ball duck to Kagiso Rabada and India recorded its lowest powerplay score in T20 cricket with with 17-1. Later, Virat Kohli (3) edged behind off Anrich Nortje as well, but South Africa didn’t get enough breakthroughs to bother India.
Rahul played a patient knock and faced 56 deliveries, hitting two fours and four sixes.
It was Yadav who turned the tide, though. He batted as if on a different wicket altogether, striking five fours and three sixes during his 33-ball innings. Their 93-run unbeaten partnership off 63 balls meant India coasted home with plenty to spare.
The second T20 will be played in Guwahati on Sunday.
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