1st T20I: Dhawan steers innings as India finish at 203-5

1st T20I: Dhawan steers innings as India finish at 203-5

South Africa have won the toss and elected to bowl in the 1st T20I of a three-match series against India in Johannesburg on Sunday. India scored 125 runs in their last 14 overs, South Africa 134 in theirs, and they did so despite losing wickets in desperate attempts to score quickly. No batsman played for any length of time, and despite some late hitting by the tailenders the South Africans could just muster 204.

"If he keeps playing like this, the record will go someday".

Apart from Reeza Hendricks (70 runs in 50 balls), all other batsmen failed to click. Virat Kohli needs 44 runs to become the third player to score 2000 runs in T20Is after Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill. Harmanpreet smashed two sixes and six fours in her 30-ball knock, stepping out repeatedly to loft the ball with power.

Dhawan's 39-ball masterful knock had 10 boundaries and two sixes in it but it eventually ended when he nicked a Andile Phehlukwayo (1-16) delivery behind the stumps.

A fourth-wicket partnership of 81 between Hendricks and Farhaan Behardien (39 off 27) gave South Africa a chance, the opener bringing up his fifty off 37 balls.

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Even tough MS Dhoni was cleaned up by Chris Morris for 18, Pandey struck and unbeaten 29 and Hardik Pandya added 13 to help India finish on 203/5 off their 20 overs, which marked their highest score against South Africa in Twenty20 Internationals.

Kohli said he would never take his cricket talent for granted after he finished India's one-day worldwide series against South Africa as he started it - with a match-winning century. This was one of our most balanced performances.

"They were 100 after 8 overs, so at that point you're looking at probably 220 or 240, and I thought the way the guys came back was exceptional". We had a plan to bowl short at India. "That desperation is shown when he bats, he doesn't just want to get close to the line, he gets his side over the line and we saw that again tonight", said South Africa's stand-in captain Aiden Markram. "I am not denying that we need to improve in certain areas", Kohli stated. Duminy said that their top players including himself have failed to come good in the shorter format of the game against India.

Duminy maintained that he had no complaints with the way his bowlers performed on a surface that was ideal for batting. "It's all about how I prepare, what my work ethic is like and how I'm feeling on game-day", Kohli said. "We can't go away before that and have to make the best of every time here", he added.

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