SA's fragility once again exposed as India win first T20
South Africa’s fragility was once again exposed as they failed to chase the par target of 204 they were set by India in the first T20 international at Wanderers on Sunday afternoon.
India won by 28 runs with opener Shikhar Dhawan sparkling with a knock of 72 and bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking 5/24 to leave South Africa, who did not have injured AB de Villiers, stranded on 175/9 after 20 overs.
India take a 1-0 lead in this three-match series which moves to SuperSport Park on Wednesday and end in Cape Town on Saturday.
Just like in the ODI series where they lost 5-1, South Africa’s top order crumbled and their fielding was horrendous as they dropped three catches that could have put India under pressure.
Jon-Jon Smuts, stand-in captain JP Duminy and David Miller gave away their wickets cheaply.
Miller (9), Heinrich Klaasen (16), Chris Morris (0) and Dane Paterson (1) did not help the cause as they buckled under pressure in the middle of the order.
Reeza Hendricks and Farhaan Behardien tried to rescue South Africa with a partnership of 81 off 52 balls after the early loss of Duminy, Smuts and Miller but it was broken when Behardien was caught by Manish Pandey from the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal.
Hendricks was the pick of the Proteas batsmen with 70 from 50 balls and although Behardien showed guts for his knock of 39 off 27 balls, it was his fielding that disappointed as he dropped Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli with his Titans team-mate Tabraiz Shamsi putting down Pandey.
Debutant Junior Dala was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa ending his debut spell with figures of 2/42 in his allotted four overs where he accounted for the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Raina.
Morris, Shamsi and Andile Phehlukwayo ended with one wicket each while Paterson and Smuts ended their bowling spells empty handed.
In their chase, the first victim was Smuts who attacked a deceiving slower ball by Kumar only to be caught by Dhawan having scored only fourteen runs.
Then the warning signs went on for the Proteas when Duminy departed for three after he was caught by Raina as Kumar claimed his second scalp of the afternoon.
It got from bad to worse for the hosts when Miller was easily caught by Dhawan at long-on from another slower ball by Hardik Pandya having scored nine runs.