Friday, 2 October 2015

Duminy douses Rohit's heroics, South Africa draw first blood!

Jean-Paul Duminy (68 not out) and AB de Villiers (51) struck fluent half centuries as South Africa beat India by seven wickets in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium on Friday.

South Africa reached 200/3 in 19.4 overs, in reply to India's 199/5 in 20 overs with Rohit Sharma's 66-ball 106 going in vain.

Although de Villiers started the show, it was Duminy who sealed the deal for the Proteas as he belted the Indian bowlers all round the park. Duminy along with Farhaan Behardien stiched an important unbeaten 105-run partnership for the fourth wicket and helped South Africa maul down the target. 

India missed the trick as although they had the game in control, Duminy smacked Axar Patel for a hat-trick of sixes to swing the momentum in their favour. And from then it was South Africa all the way.  

Earlier, Rohit Sharma struck his maiden Twenty20 International (T20I) century (106) as India posted a formidable 199/5.

Rohit got ample support from No.3 bat Virat Kohli (43) to help build a sizeable total at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium. They forged a 138-run partnership for the second wicket.

After being sent into bat, India received a setback when opener Shikhar Dhawan (3) was run out while trying to steal a single after a misfield. Dhawan's valiant dive wasn't enough to save his wicket as India were reduced to 22/1 in 3.1 overs.

The other opener Rohit (106 of 66 balls, 12x4 5x6) though tried to shake off the disappointment and hit some lusty blows to rev up India's run rate, which reached 50 in 6.4 overs.

Kohli (43 of 27 balls, 1x4, 3x6) also joined the act, hitting a consecutive six and a four at the start of the eighth over off pacer Chris Morris.

The Rohit-Kohli 138-run second wicket partnership enabled India to launch a no-holds-barred charge in the death overs.

Rohit began the charge scoring boundaries almost at will. The 28-year-old right-hander brought up his century with a majestic six over long on off pacer Merchant de Lange in the 15th over.

Kohli also achieved a personal milestone in the process, becoming the first Indian to score 1000 runs in T20 internationals.

Though first Kohli and then Rohit departed in the same over, dismissed by Abbott, India were firmly placed to post a strong total. Abbot was South Africa's most successful bowler picking up two wickets for 29 runs.

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