Sent in to bat after losing the toss, the visitors recovered from a poor start to post a competitive 249 for four in 40 overs in a rain-reduced encounter. Heinrich Klaasen (74* off 65) and David Miller (75* off 63) starred for South Africa with impressive half-centuries.
Chasing 250, India finished on 240 for eight despite a valiant effort from Sanju Samson (86* off 63) and a brisk 50 from Shreyas Iyer. Kagiso Rabada (2/36) was the standout performer for South Africa, while Lungi Ngidi claimed three wickets. Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj (1/23), meanwhile, strangled the Indian batting with his economical spell.
Team India got off to a disastrous start in the chase, losing both their openers cheaply. Shubman Gill was bowled for three, inside-edging a full-length delivery from Rabada back onto his stumps. Skipper Shikhar Dhawan (four) also perished in similar fashion, dragging a length ball from Wayne Parnell onto his stumps. The South African pacers kept things extremely tight as India crawled to 24 for two in 10 overs.
Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad struggled for momentum as South Africa continued to hold the upper hand. The latter could have been run out for 17 as Kishan sent him back after calling for a quick single. The fielder, however, could not manage a direct hit and the debutant survived.
Gaikwad did not last long after the close shave. He was stumped for a painful 19 off 42 as he jumped down the track to Tabraiz Shamsi, was completely beaten by spin and bounce and was stumped. The dismissal left India in dire straits at 48 for three.
Things got worse for the hosts as Kishan (20 off 37) was caught at leg slip off a leading edge from a turning delivery from Maharaj. New batter Samson was adjudged lbw in the same over. However, he used DRS to overturn the decision as UltraEdge spotted a spike.
Shreyas played some fine strokes to give the Indian innings some momentum. He threw Shamsi off his line, smashing the left-arm spinner for three consecutive fours in the 21st over. Shreyas went on to reach an impressive 50 off 33 balls to keep India’s hopes alive. With the run rate rising, though, the right-handed batter perished to Ngidi, miscuing a short ball to mid-on.
Following Shreyas’ departure, Samson completed a defiant half-century. However, India still went into the last five overs needing a hefty 73 runs for victory. Shardul Thakur then struck three boundaries off Rabada as the equation came down to a slightly more hopeful 45 runs off 18 balls.
The all-rounder, however, was dismissed for 33 off 31 as he sliced a full delivery outside off from Ngidi to mid-off. South Africa had two in two when Kuldeep Yadav chipped the first ball he faced and was caught by Temba Bavuma, who back-pedalling from extra cover.
Rabada then helped himself to the wicket of Avesh Khan (three) as Samson was stranded at the non-striker’s end. With 30 needed off the last over, Samson clobbered Shamsi for a six and three fours, but India still fell short of South Africa’s total by nine runs.
Klaasen, Miller shine as South Africa put up 249 for 4
Klaasen and Miller added an unbroken 139 for the fifth wicket as South Africa put up an impressive 249 for four after being invited to bat first. The former hit six fours and two sixes in his innings, while the latter thumped five fours and three sixes. For India, Thakur was the standout bowler with figures of two for 35.
Thakur ended South Africa’s 49-run opening stand, having Janneman Malan (22 off 42) caught at midwicket. The Proteas were reduced to 70 for two as skipper Bavuma’s horror run with the willow continued. Thakur got a full delivery to dart in sharply and cleaned up Bavuma for eight.
Left-arm spinner Kuldeep joined the wicket-taking act as he castled Aiden Markram (0) with a beauty. The bowler got a tossed-up delivery to turn in sharply and beat the batter’s defense. Quinton de Kock batted reasonably well for his 48 before perishing to Ravi Bishnoi, trapped lbw after missing a reverse sweep.
Miller and Klaasen, however, put up a great rescue act for the visitors. Both batters eased to their respective fifties in the same over - the 36th of the innings bowled by Avesh. The set batters were also given a reprieve each by the Indian fielders in the death overs.
Gaikwad put down a tough chance at deep midwicket as Miller pulled Mohammed Siraj. He ran in and slid forward but could not complete the catch. Siraj himself made a mess of a skier offered by Klaasen off Avesh’s bowling.
India vs South Africa 2022: Who was Player of the Match in 1st ODI?
Klaasen and Miller excelled for South Africa. Their partnership made a big difference. On the bowling front, Rabada, Ngidi, and Maharaj made crucial contributions.
Thakur had a good all-round game, claiming two wickets and scoring 33. Samson played a brilliant knock, albeit in vain, while Shreyas scored a fluent half-century.
Klaasen was named Player of the Match for his fine performance with the willow under pressure.