The pace duo of Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar wreaked havoc on Wednesday as wickets tumbled like a house of cards at Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram in the first T20I against South Africa. The rattled Proteas batsman were taken for a ride as the fast bowling duo bowled in tandem to reduce them to 9/5 in just 2.3 overs with three batters getting out for a golden duck. The visitors registered an unwanted record as 9/5 is the lowest score at the fall of fifth wicket versus India by any side in T20I cricket.
Earlier, captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bowl first. His decision proved to be a good one as in the very first over of South Africa’s innings, Chahar drew first blood by bowling out the visitors’ captain Temba Bavuma for a duck. In the next over, Arshdeep grabbed the wicket of wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock off his second delivery and then dismissed Rilee Rossouw and David Miller off consecutive balls in the same over to rub salt into the wounds of the South African team. Chahar landed the final blow in the powerplay as he got power-hitter Tristan Stubbs caught by the third man in only the third over of the innings.
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Reduced to the loss of five wickets with just nine runs on board, it was South Africa’s worst-ever start and lowest score at the fall of fifth wicket in T20I cricket.
Lowest score at the fall of 5th wicket for South Africa
9/5 vs Ind Trivandrum 2022 *
10/5 vs WI Port Elizabeth 2007
31/5 vs Ind Durban 2007
The visitors however survived the rest of the powerplay and at the end of it, the score was 30/5. It was India’s third best bowling performance in the powerplay in T20I cricket. At home, it was India’s second best performance with the ball, the best being 29/5 against Sri Lanka in Visakhapatnam in 2016.
All-rounder Aiden Markram helped the Proteas recover from the onslaught before Harshal Patel got him trapped before the wicket to make the score 42/6.After his dismissal, tailenders Wayne Parnell and Keshav Maharaj then stitched a good partnership for the visitors. Maharaj scored 41 off 35 balls to ensure that South Africa crossed hundred runs. His stay at the crease was ended by a superb Yorker from Harshal Patel.
Only Markram, Parnell and Maharaj could get to double digit scores against the hosts as India bundled South Africa at 106/8 at the end of 20 overs.
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