Men In Blue Keen to Level Series against South Africa Post a Defeat in 1st Game

October 04 23:57 2015

abNew Delhi, Monday, October 5 – In a thrilling T20 tournament on Saturday between India and South Africa, the former were beaten by the latter with two balls remaining. Both playing XIs were all set to compete in first match of the shortest format as the meet was scheduled after a long span of time.

Despite losing against young Indian squad during practice match, Proteas ensured they don’t miss the opportunity to win when back in business. They are on tour of India with the motto to go back home with win in all series. Given that the tournament between India and South Africa is to last for more than two months, what could have been better for them than they victory in the first T20 held at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala on Friday, October 2.

South African team has is usually familiar with conditions of the place to a certain extent thanks to their stint in Indian Premier League. Challenges were huge for both contesting parties as they couldn’t afford to lose. The guests and hosts are stronger likewise in various departments and this got proved when the powerhouses confronted each other on the field.

Faf du Plessis, the South African skipper, won the toss and decided to field first against the Men In Blue. The travelers wanted to make use of the lessons learnt in the past and don’t let the rivals make best use of home turf. With the first jolt in the form of Shikhar Dhawan, who scored 3 runs of 4 balls, SA let India know that getting over their accurate strategies isn’t going to be simple at all. But then pitch conditions were well used by Rohit Sharma, who mercilessly hit the ball to get a brilliant ton, which was spellbinding. Off just 66 balls, the 28-year-old Nagpur boy attained 106 runs, which considered of 12 4s and 5 sixes.

It is easy to understand what a superb innings he played when Virat Kohli was at the other end to give India a desired support. Kohli enjoyed the way Sharma got a century. A broad smile on his face was giving a clear signal that it is gonna be tough for Proteas to dismiss Sharma. The duo took their team at a strong position. When 160 runs were totaled on the scoreboard, Kohli, who was also playing an impressive knock by getting 43 runs in 27 deliveries (4 x 1 and 6 x 3), fell short to Kyle Abbott. JP Duminy made no mistake to take a good catch.

Suresh Raina arrived on the pitch to play his natural game but in the same over, Rohit was sent back to the pavilion. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the talented Indian skipper, was there to play a pivotal knock that could take his team taste success in the opening match. Hopes were certainly up from him and Raina, who hit two biggies to pocket 14 runs in 8 balls. Before he could have gotten any further, Chris Morris ended his stylish stint. The batsman got his legs before wickets, creating no problem for the umpire to give an easy decision.

Ambati Rayudu was a tad unlucky when turned a run out victim as Hashim Amla did not delay in collecting the ball and sending it towards the wicketkeeper before the batsman was inside the safe line. A bit of hesitation to run of a single after Dhoni tried placing the ball in the gap made the right-handed Rayudu think for a second whether to run or not and the opponents capitalized the uncertainty. The middle-order player had to go back on a naught.

Axar Patel was the new man on the 22 yards pitch. He scored 2 runs of 3 balls and made efforts to let Dhoni be on striking side as much as possible. The Indian captain finished the game with a six, giving viewers chance to jump in joy. After 20 overs and 11 extras 199 runs were piled up by the Indian camp which was a challenging one. However, it is true that India were seemed capable to attain much beyond 200 but fall of wickets at a wrong time made them stay a under it.

Kyle Abbott got two wickets, while Morris earned one. Kagiso Rabada, Marchant de Lange, Imran Tahir and JP Duminy strove for wickets. The start was good for South Africa as well for the reason that opening pair Amla and wicketkeeper-batsman AB de Villiers played knocks of 36 runs in 24 balls (4 x 5) and 51 runs in 32 balls (4 x 7 and 6 x 1).

The first breakthrough came when Bhuvneshwar Kumar made Alma get run out in 7.4 over. After two overs, Ravichandran Ashwin brought de Villiers’ innings to an end. Faf du Plessis threw his wicket to Sreenath Aravind at 4 runs. India appeared strong by this point but Duminy, who played a not out knock of 68 runs in 34 balls, with 1 four and 7 sixes, and Farhaan Behardien, who was also not out at 32 runs scored in 23 balls (4 x 4 and 6 x 1), take victory away from India. Axar’s over in some context let the batsmen opt for attacking mode and accumulate several runs to achieve the target.

Nine extras were bowled by Indian bowling attack. South Africa scored 200 for the loss of three wickets. To stay in the competition, India eye level the series by winning 2nd T20 match, will be hosted at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack today. Form of cricketers will be important as this is required to inflict a defeat on South Africa. The stadium is probable to be jam-packed.

Indian supporters are keen to see their team look best and be best. Proteas have kick off the two-month long tournament with a victory. If India lose today’s game, South Africa will seal T20 series. The audience has geared up to catch the action and pray India bounce back in today’s game.

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