South Africa vs India 2018, 1st T20I: India's team hattrick is SK Play of the Day
The first game of the three-match T20 series between South Africa and India proved to be an exciting encounter. The win was up for grabs for both the parties until the 38th over of the game and the result could've swayed in any direction in the lead-up to the same.
However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was brought back into the attack to bowl his last over in the 18th over of the chase, swung the momentum in India's direction. After Hendricks's dismissal on the first ball, the three wickets that fell in the second half of his over proved to be the final nails in South Africa's coffin, as they were sent packing to the pavilion by Virat Kohli's Men in Blue.
The first wicket of the team hattrick came in the form of Heinrich Klaasen, who was the player of the match in the only game India lost in the blues on the tour. He was batting on 16 off 7 deliveries and looked dangerous in the middle.
The South African wicketkeeper was tempted by a full delivery by Kumar, but could only hit it as far as Suresh Raina at long-on. The fielder made no mistake, and the hosts were reduced to 158-6.
The next delivery was a relatively shorter rendition of the ball it followed. It was hit by Chris Morris in the same area but was knocked up higher in the air. Raina had to cover some ground to complete the catch this time, but, as he always does, the left-hander made it look easy at the end of it all.
Kumar was on a hat-trick, but could not get a wicket to his name on the next delivery. However, India did complete a team hat-trick, when they caught Dane Paterson short of his crease to affect a quick-run out.
This time around, the right-arm seamer bowled a short ball that was punched off the back-foot by Paterson. The batsmen chose to try and convert the single into a double after Hardik Pandya's misfield off the shot.
However, the Indian all-rounder picked himself up quickly and put in a sharp throw to MS Dhoni, who was waiting like a panther over the wicket. The former Indian skipper did what he always does and hit the stumps almost as immediately as he received the ball.
The square-leg umpire did not even need technology to confirm the dismissal and raised his finger in the air to send Paterson back to the pavilion.
When Reeza Hendricks and Farhaan Behardien stitched a blazing partnership for the 4th wicket, it looked like the hosts could pull off a terrific chase and better the Indian total of 203. They partnered together to score 81 runs off just 52 deliveries, but could not make a sizeable enough impact, one which would have taken their team over the line.
Hendricks was the pick of the Proteas batsmen and was batting on 70 before Kumar dismissed him in his incredible over. His dismissal capitulated the South African batting effort, and it showed in the three back-to-back wickets that they dropped following the same.
The over changed the game on its head, and Kumar was rightly given the Player of the Match award for his five-wicket haul on the day.