David Miller took his thrilling IPL form to international cricket as South Africa chased down their highest-scoring runs in the opening T20 in New Delhi on Thursday and the Indian bowling attack to win the race by seven wickets. Made fun of Rassie Van der Dussen (71 not out at 45) and Miller (64 not out at 31) put on an unbeaten 131-run partnership to reach the target of 212 runs with ridiculous ease and five balls. India scored 211 for four with the help of Ishan Kishan (76 off 48 balls), new captain Rishbha Pant (29 off 16 balls) and Hardik Pandya (31 off 12 balls). However, this did not mean that the Indians outperformed Miller and Van der Dawson, who resisted the opposition’s onslaught.
South Africa captain Temba Bauma (10) and Quentin de Cock (22) reached 22/0 in the first two overs. However, the ever-reliable Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a brilliant league cutter to get Bauma out.
Dwayne Pretorius (13-29) and De Cock then took league spinners Yuzwinder Chahal and Hardik to the cleaners.
While Chahal scored 16 runs, Hardik, whose return to bowling was highly anticipated before the series, scored 18 runs and Pretorius hit three sixes, one of which was 91 meters long.
Herschel Patel eventually broke off the partnership as he fried Pretorius with a slow full toss.
The Indian bowlers attacked intermittently and slowed down the action by limiting the boundary. But Miller’s views differed.
Continuing their impressive run from the IPL, South Pow hit a total of three sixes and two fours in the 12th and 13th overs to bring South Africa back into the game, while Van der Dawson played the perfect second fiddle.
80 runs are needed in the last six. Miller made his fifth T20 half-century.
India had a chance to break the dangerous partnership between Miller and Van Der Dawson but were guilty of dropping the latter at deep mid-wicket on the 29th.
This reduction cost India dearly as Van der Dawson forced Herschel to accept. South Africa hit three sixes and a four.
After that, it was a six-wicket haul as both batsmen hit a maximum of five.
Earlier, after being asked to bat, India got off to a great start. The hosts looted 13 runs in the first over when Kishan hit back-to-back fours as Bauma chose to open with spinner Keshu Maharaj.
Correcting his mistake, Bauma bought high-speed spare-head Kagiso Rabada in the attack, who limited the score to two in the next over.
Kishan Enrich was struggling with Nortje’s pace but with Raturaj Gaikwad (23), Arun Jaitley kept hitting fours and sixes easily at the stadium.
Gaikwad was dismissed for 17 by Dwayne Pretorius early in the seventh over. However, the right-hander could not take advantage of the recovery as he was caught at midwicket by Van Parnell’s ball at the hands of Bauma, who returned to the South African squad for the first time since 2017.
Kishan and newcomer Shriyas Air (36) continued to score on their own as India reached 100 in 9.4 overs.
The visitors also seemed a bit sloppy in the field, the catches were missing and there was a chance of stumping.
Ayre hit two sixes on Long On to Tabriz Shamsi.
Kishan made his third T20 fifty style when he hacked Maharaj at a six-over mid-wicket. In the groove, he then took the spinner to the cleaners in his next over and launched the ball for a back-to-back six before hitting two fours.
However, Maharaj finally saved himself as Ishan hit the length ball straight into David Miller’s hand on a wide long on. Air also left immediately after that.
Captain Pant and his vice-captain Pandya, who returned to the team after leading the Gujarat Titans to the IPL title, then hit fours and sixes to promote the final.
Short Score: India 211/4 (Ishan Kishan 76, Shriyas Ayre 36, Van Parnell 1/32) 212/3 against South Africa (Ross Van der Dawson 75 David Miller 64; Aksar Patel 1/40).
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