Batting first after winning the toss in the Group 2 clash, the Men in Blue got off to a horror start and Pandya’s dismissal for 2 reduced them to 49/5 in the ninth over. Lungi Ngidi bowled a short one to Pandya and the right-handed batter went for the pull. He rolled his wrists and did reasonably well to control the stroke.
However, Rabada, who was at long leg, came charging in. Seeing the stroke was hit flat at him, he dived forward in the nick of time and got his hands under the ball to complete a stunning catch.
Pandya’s wicket was Ngidi’s fourth in the innings as Team India crawled to 60/5 at the halfway stage. After the Men in Blue got off to a cautious start, Indian captain Rohit Sharma was the first to go for 15. A short ball got too big on Rohit and he only managed to present a simple return catch to the bowler.
KL Rahul’s horror run continued as he was back in the hut for 9, nicking a rising delivery outside off stump from Ngidi to slip. The Proteas pacer had his third, and a very big one at that, as Virat Kohli (12) also perished to the bouncer, miscuing his pull to fine leg.
Deepak Hooda, who was brought in for Axar Patel in an endeavor to strengthen the batting, fell without making any contribution with the willow. He flirted at a delivery outside off stump from Anrich Nortje and presented a simple catch to the keeper.
Team India would have been hoping for rearguard action from Pandya, as he has so often done recently. But Rabada’s brilliance in the field forced him to walk back disappointed.
IND vs SA - Today's match playing XIs
India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (w), Temba Bavuma (c), Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje.