South Africa dominates rain-hit showdown, takes series lead of 1-0 with convincing 5-wicket win over India
In a rain-affected clash, South Africa triumphed over India by 5 wickets (DLS method), seizing a 1-0 lead in the cricket series.
South Africa secured a 5-wicket victory over India, taking a 1-0 lead in the series. Suryakumar Yadav faced a challenging start as captain, with South Africa dominating in a rain-affected match. The series opener in Durban was washed out on Sunday (December 10).
In the initial phase of the game, South Africa won the toss and elected to field, considering the prevailing weather conditions. Marco Jansen and Lizaad Williams vindicated their skipper's decision by dismissing the Indian openers, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill, without scoring, respectively. Despite this setback, Tilak Varma and Captain Suryakumar Yadav launched a counter-attack, accumulating 49 runs for the third wicket. Varma contributed 29 runs off 20 balls before falling to Gerald Coetzee in the penultimate ball of the Powerplay.
Suryakumar Yadav showcased his leadership prowess by scoring 56 runs off 36 balls, featuring five fours and three sixes. He forged a crucial 70-run partnership for the fourth wicket alongside the in-form Rinku Singh. However, Yadav's dismissal in the 14th over, caught at long-off by Tabraiz Shamsi, marked a turning point. In the subsequent over, South African skipper Aiden Markram claimed the wicket of Jitesh Sharma. Rinku, however, remained unbeaten, smashing 68 runs off 39 balls with nine fours and two sixes. Together with Ravindra Jadeja (19 off 14), he added 38 runs for the 6th wicket before Coetzee returned to the attack, taking quick wickets in the final over, limiting India to 180/7 in 19.3 overs.
As the drizzle intensified at this stage, the umpires led the players off the field, causing a delay. Unfortunately for Coetzee, his hat-trick aspirations were thwarted, and the Indian innings concluded three balls short of 20 overs.
With the chase revised to 15 overs, South Africa required 152 to win. Reeza Hendricks and Matthew Breetzke (16 off 7) aggressively tackled the Indian bowlers. However, a miscommunication between the South African openers led to the sacrifice of the latter in the 3rd over, with the score at 42 runs.
Markram came in next and established a brilliant second-wicket partnership with Hendricks, resulting in a total of 54 runs. However, Mukesh Kumar's breakthrough in the 8th over momentarily shifted the dynamics of the game. The home side faced a brief period of instability, losing a couple of wickets rapidly. Nevertheless, impactful contributions from David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, and Andile Phehlukwayo through some substantial hits proved more than sufficient to secure the victory for the Proteas.