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Duminy blitz hands South Africa victory despite Rohit's ton

Duminy blitz hands South Africa victory despite Rohit's ton
JP Duminy celebrates the South African victory over India in the first T20I in Dharmasala.
©REUTERS / Action Images

South Africa 200-3 (Duminy 68no) beat
India 199-5 (R Sharma 106) by seven wickets
First Twenty20 International, Dharmasala

Rohit Sharma's swashbuckling century went in vain as JP Duminy and AB de Villiers smashed flamboyant fifties to secure a seven-wicket victory for South Africa against India in the first Twenty20 International game in Dharmasala.

Having lost the toss, India were put into bat by South Africa on a pitch that had a good covering of grass. 

Sharma (106) survived a close lbw shout in the very first over from Kyle Abbott (2-29).

He then hit one boundary each in the first two overs and followed it up with two more in the third over, accounting for most of the strike.

India suffered a setback in the fourth over when Shikhar Dhawan (3) was run out in an attempt to steal an extra run.

Dhawan’s dismissal had no effect on Sharma who was especially harsh on Chris Morris (1-46), dispatching him for a boundary and a six in the sixth over of the innings.

India were well placed at 46 for one at the end of the power play.

Virat Kohli (43) joined the act with a boundary and a six in the eighth over. At the half-way mark, India reached 86 for one, with Sharma bringing up his fifty in just 39 balls. 

In the 12th over Kohli took Imran Tahir (0-35) apart for two sixes, becoming the first Indian batsman to amass 1,000 T20I runs.

Sharma went on to hit two sixes off Kagiso Rabada (0-32) in the 13th over, following it up with a couple of boundaries off Morris in the next over.

Sharma completed his maiden T20I hundred in the 15th over of the innings and became only the second Indian batsman to hit a hundred in all three formats of the game after Suresh Raina.

Abbott pulled things back for South Africa by removing both Kohli and Sharma in the 16th over, bringing an end to their 1380-run stand.

Raina (14) got off the mark with a six, but was given a life when Rabada failed to hold on to a tough return catch in the 17th over.

Despite losing Raina and Ambati Rayudu (0), India managed to reach 199 as MS Dhoni (20 not out) finished the innings with a six.

Abbott was the best bowler for South Africa accounting for two wickets while also being the most economical, while Morris was the only other wicket-taker.

With a tough task to score 200 runs to win the game, Hashim Amla (36) started the innings with two boundaries in the very first over off Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-40).

The debutant Sreenath Aravind (1-44) was shown no mercy by de Villiers (51), who struck a boundary and a six in the second over of the innings.

De Villiers refused to tone down the scoring rate as he hit a boundary each in the third and fifth overs, while smashing two more in the fourth.

India finally managed to get a breakthrough as Amla was found short of the crease while sneaking a non-existent second run in the eighth over. Kumar was the man with the throw at the non strikers end.

De Villiers raced away to his fifty off just 31 balls, but Ashwin sent him back to the hut in the 10th over by sneaking one through his defences.

By the halfway mark, South Africa were positioned at 93 for two, with 107 runs required from the final ten overs for a victory. 

South Africa received another blow when their captain Faf du Plessis (4) was castled by Aravind while attempting a cover drive. 

It was Farhaan Behardien (32 not out), who took it upon himself to hit the boundaries as he smashed one each in the 11th and the 13th overs, going on to hit two more in the 14th over.

South Africa moved on to 134 for three at the end of the 15th over with 66 runs required from the last 30 balls. 

The turning point for South Africa came in the 16th over of the innings when Duminy took Axar Patel (0-45) apart for three consecutive sixes to bring the target down to 44 in the last four overs.

There was no looking back for Duminy as he smashed two sixes and a four towards the death, making the equation just 10 runs needed from the last over.

Duminy brought up the century stand with Behardien with a six and eventually hit the winning run with two balls left to spare.

Duminy was picked as the man of the match for his unbeaten fifty.

The second game of the three-match T20I series will be played in Cuttack on the 5th of October. 

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