Van der Dussen, Miller guide South Africa to seven-wicket win over India in 1st T20I
Rassie van der Dussen of South Africa during the 1st T20I against India at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on June 9, 2022.Deepak Malik/Sportzpics/BCCI

Van der Dussen, Miller guide South Africa to seven-wicket win over India in 1st T20I

New Delhi, June 9, 2022

Rassie van der Dussen (75 not out) and David Miller (64 not out) stitched an unbeaten 131-run stand to take South Africa to a seven-wicket win over India in the first T20I of the five-match series at the Arun Jaitley Stadium here on Thursday.

After Ishan Kishan's 76 and finishing touches from captain Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya powered India to 211/4, South Africa were in trouble at 81/3 in 8.4 overs, despite a whirlwind Dwaine Pretorius cameo in power-play.

That's when Miller and van der Dussen joined forces to forge an unbroken stand, enough for the visitors to record their highest chase in T20Is and put an end to India's 12-match winning streak in the format.

The seven-wicket win also means that South Africa are now 1-0 up in the five-match series.

The pursuit of 212 began with captain Temba Bavuma whipping Avesh Khan off his wrists through square leg for four before moving across and scooping the ball over fine leg for another boundary. But Bavuma's promising stay was ended by a Bhuvneshwar Kumar leg-cutter in the third over, which the South Africa skipper nicked behind to Pant.

South Africa's gamble to send Dwaine Pretorius at three worked well in their favour when he blasted 29 runs off 13 balls. He began by punching Bhuvneshwar crisply through cover before slog-sweeping Yuzvendra Chahal for a huge six over cow corner.

Pretorius then tore into Hardik Pandya in the fifth over, muscling him for three sixes over fine leg, deep mid-wicket and deep square leg as South Africa soared to 60/1 in just five overs. Harshal Patel sent down India's fifth over in power-play and brought Pretorius' cameo with a dipping full toss beating the bat and crashing into off-stump.

Quinton de Kock never got going in his innings of 22 and swept straight to long-leg off Axar Patel in the ninth over. David Miller's introduction quickened South Africa's scoring pace, slicing Harshal square through the off-side for four, followed by a nonchalant flick over deep square leg for six.

Miller then creamed Axar for a four through cover and dispatched left-arm spinner for sixes over long-off and mid-wicket to take 19 runs off the 13th over. He then dished out boundaries against Bhuvneshwar, pulling between deep mid-wicket and long-on for four before lofting him effortlessly over long-off for six. Miller closed the 15th over by reaching his fifty in 22 balls, keeping South Africa in the hunt.

van der Dussen, dropped on 29 by Shreyas Iyer, shed his cautious self by slamming Harshal for back-to-back sixes over long-on and backward square leg in the 17th over before pulling an outside the off-stump delivery through mid-wicket for four. He then brought up his fifty in 37 balls with a flat pulled six over deep mid-wicket in an over which yielded 22 runs.

Miller brought up the century of his fourth wicket association with van der Dussen with a clean heaved six over deep mid-wicket off Bhuvneshwar in the 18th over. van der Dussen then slog-swept Bhuvneshwar high over deep mid-wicket for six and amassed back-to-back fours through square of the wicket on the off-side to take South Africa closer to victory.

The duo knocked off the remaining 12 runs easily, with van der Dussen finishing off the chase, reverse sweeping Chahal for four to open their series with a win.

Earlier, on a pitch where bowlers got some help, Kishan, Pant and Pandya played blistering knocks to post the highest total for India against South Africa in T20Is.

Asked to bat first, India amassed 51 runs from power-play, which was a mix of luck being on their side and some scintillating shots. Keshav Maharaj went for 13 in his opening over, an outer edge off Kishan's bat beat short third man while on the very next ball, the left-hander danced down the pitch to loft it over extra cover.

Luck continued to favour India as Ruturaj Gaikwad tried to hook but the top-edge went over fine leg off Anrich Nortje's pace. Both Nortje and Rabada were able to beat the edge of the bat with some away-shape and bounce on back of the length balls. But India pushed forward with some scintillating stroke play as Kishan placed a straight drive down the ground and had luck when Rabada squared him up, but the outer edge ran through third man.

Nortje came in for further attack in the final over of power-play as Kishan slammed him for boundaries -- a late cut went through third man, followed by a drilling a drive through the gap on the off-side. Post powerplay, Gaikwad fell when he lobbed a pull to mid-off off Parnell.

Kishan, though, continued to accelerate with boundaries - a punch through the off-side was followed by a ferocious drive past Dwaine Pretorius. Shreyas Iyer began by dealing in sixes, coming down the pitch and depositing Tabraiz Shamsi over long-on thrice. He got a life on 25 when Quinton de Kock missed his stumping off Maharaj.

Kishan brought up his fifty in 37 balls by dragging Maharaj for a mighty slog-sweep over mid-wicket for six. He further tore into Maharaj in the 13th over, depositing back-to-back sixes with slog sweep and pull over mid-wicket fence twice.

Kishan went on to hit successive boundaries, lofting over the bowler's head and smashing a flat hit along the ground. But Maharaj had the last laugh as Kishan holed out to long-on. From being 28 off 15 balls, Iyer endured a slowdown before being bowled by an off-cutter from Pretorius for 36 off 27 balls.

Pant, who got great applause from the home crowd, began by straight-lofting Parnell for four. He then unleashed carnage on Pretorius in the 17th over, heaving over his head for a six followed by evading diving long-on for another six and closing the over with a slice over cover for four.

Pandya, his deputy, whipped Parnell for four over mid-wicket and followed it up with a short-arm jab over long-on for six. Rabada came under thrashing from Pandya in the 19th over, when the right-hander lofted the ball over long-on for six and squeezed a yorker past short fine leg to bring up India's 200.

Nortje had Pant caught out in the final over at cover before Pandya smacked a six over long-on to help India post the highest T20I score at this venue till then.

Brief Scores: India 211/4 in 20 overs (Ishan Kishan 76, Shreyas Iyer 36; Wayne Parnell 1/32, Dwaine Pretorius 1/35) lost to South Africa 212/3 in 19.1 overs (Rassie van der Dussen 75 not out, David Miller 64 not out; Axar Patel 1/40, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1/43) by seven wickets

IANS

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