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106/8 (20)
110/2 (16.4)
IND won by 8 wickets
Player of the match: Arshdeep Singh
 
So that'll be all from tonight's contest. A slow-burner in many ways but still an intriguing contest on a dicey surface. There's another fascinating duel going on in Lahore with England stumbling in their chase against Pakistan - do hop over here to catch our coverage of the same and keep yourselves engaged with more cricketing news and action from around the globe here on Sportskeeda. Until next time, this is the duo of Pratyush Rohra and Sooryanarayanan Sesha thanking you for joining us today and taking your leave. Good night!
While the seamers set it up for India, it was a spell and a half from Ravichandran Ashwin as well. Twitterati lavished praise on the veteran off-spinner for the same. Here's a look at the reactions!👇
My goodness, what an over that was from Arshdeep Singh. He set the tone with his triple-whammy and there was simply no looking back for India thereafter. He has become an indispensable member of this Indian T20I setup and with this performance, he has all but nailed down a spot in the starting XI for India come the T20 World Cup. A largely superb display by the hosts heading into the 2nd T20I in Guwahati and South Africa will want to put this behind them at the earliest and bounce back.
Arshdeep Singh is the Player of the Match. Here is what he has to say: Actually, I have thought a lot about what I'll say when I win the Man of the Match. It's the first time, so I got a bit excited. DC (Chahar) bhai set the tone in the first over and we knew that there was a bit of help from the surface, so just wanted to keep the plans simple and bowl in the right areas. Got the reward for that. (Wicket he enjoyed the most) David Miller was the most enjoyable one because I don't think he expected the in-ducker. (Final over) The first thought was to go for the wicket but Maharaj batted quite well. Maybe I could have had a different plan against him but we're happy to get the win. Feeling quite refreshed. I trained quite well at the NCA and it feels quite nice. I will try to keep putting in these kind of performances in the future as well.
Rohit Sharma (Indian captain): The wicket was tricky. When you play a game like that you get to learn a lot as well - when conditions are challenging, what you want to do as a team. It was nice to play a game like that. (Did he expect it to play as tricky as it did?) Not so much. Honestly we knew there would be something for the bowlers seeing the grass on that pitch but not throughout the 20 overs we bowled. It was sticky. Obviously it was a day-night game and there was no sun so it made it difficult for the wicket to dry up. Both teams bowled well but the team that played better won eventually. To take 5 wickets in the first 6 overs was the turning point. Whatever the conditions are you've still got to come out with a plan and swing the ball. Today was the perfect showcase of how to bowl when the conditions are helpful. (Game plan while chasing?) We knew that it's not going to be that easy. You've got to respect the conditions at times, understand what shots can be played on that wicket. We lost two wickets upfront and that partnership was crucial. Surya and KL batted beautifully and that's what we needed - we needed someone to steady the ship and someone to play freely and that's what we got.
Temba Bavuma (South African captain): As a batting unit, you have to really apply yourself in those conditions. It was tough batting conditions but like I said, we weren't able to adjust our plans. You saw how Rahul and Yadav were able to do that. So, from us we have to show better in the batting. We didn't expect the conditions to be like that. We obviously practiced here two days in a row. We saw the wicket was a bit spicey when we were practicing but we weren't expecting it to play like that. Obviously, when you come to India you expect to be able to hit through the line and for us, we fell short of that. (Should have gone with the extra seamer?) That's hard to say. Three seamers on that type of wicket, you kind of back yourself. Seamers obviously needed runs behind them to be defending that type of target. I thought they tried as best as they could, supported by the spinners as well but the batting is where we really need to work and give the bowlers something to defend. (Positives?) There was a good fight shown by the batters. Guys like Keshav at the backend and KG as well with the new ball. That fight we always pride ourselves on was there but on the day, there weren't enough runs on the board to defend.
KL Rahul: For sure. We have played in a few difficult conditions like this and I haven't scored runs in those. Unbelievable for Surya to come out and play those shots. It was hard for the batters today with the ball nipping around. For Surya to come in and show on that approach after being hit, it just woke him up a little bit. He said if I look to be defensive, I won't be able to do the job for the side. So, I will look to play my shots and try to do the job for the team. That helped me as well. We did practice here yesterday, that was a humbling experience as well. We knew it wasn't going to be an easy wicket. So, I was prepared to do the dirty work. When the bowlers do such a phenomenal job, it's easy for the batters to chase down a target like this. He's (Arshdeep) going with each game and is growing. I've seen him from close quarters in the IPL. Even as a youngster, he always wanted to bowl the big overs. That's something that has gotten him so far. He keeps growing with his skill. He was brilliant for his franchise this year as well. To be the number one death bowler in the team that has Kagiso Rabada says a lot about him. You always want a left-arm seamer in the lineup and he's been brilliant, Arshdeep. 
India beat South Africa by 8 wickets to go 1-0 up in the series.
KL Rahul 51* (56) | Arshdeep Singh 3/32 (4)
Keshav Maharaj 41 (35) | Kagiso Rabada 1/16 (4)

It was not going to be a straightforward chase on a two-paced surface but jeez, didn't the Proteas make life difficult for the hosts or what? With just 106 runs to play with, they needed to throw themselves around and be right on top of their game upfront.

Kagiso Rabada started off with a maiden and got the ball to swerve around. He reaped the rewards in his second over by getting Rohit Sharma to nick off for a duck. It was a perilous time for the Indian batters and KL Rahul came out with the clear approach to do the dirty work and bide his time before going for his shots. The accuracy of Rabada and Wayne Parnell, as well as the tacky nature of the surface meant that he was kept on his toes all along.

India scored just 17 in the first six overs - their lowest in this format at the end of the Powerplay and it was followed by Virat Kohli's dismissal, putting the contest in the balance. Suryakumar Yadav started with a streaky six but he stated his intentions clearly thereafter with an array of delightful strokes. It must be said that South Africa let the Indians off the hook too with Temba Bavuma taking Nortje out of the attack and feeding spin with Suryakumar duly cashing in.

Rahul had a lot of time to make up and he eventually did despite his struggles. With the spinners dishing out freebies, it became too easy for India with the inevitable eventually ensuing. Even the seamers returning to the attack couldn't break the game open again as Suryakumar continued to waltz along and make this pitch look like a highway with his typically million-dollar strokeplay.

Eventually, both batters, courtesy their contrasting approaches, got to their respective half-centuries and sealed a tricky chase for India. The scoreboard won't paint the entire picture, however, given how hard the hosts were made to work for their win. But eventually, it is a 1-0 lead that the Men In Blue have taken with their third win in the last four games against the Proteas. Stick around for the presentation...
Yes he can! Finishes it in style and having huffed and puffed initially, KL Rahul has a half-century to show for his efforts on a tricky pitch. A tricky chase comes to a finish at last as India win by 8 wickets with 20 deliveries to spare!
16.4 Tabraiz Shamsi to KL Rahul, SIX! FIFTY FOR RAHUL AS HE FINISHES IT OFF IN STYLE! Tossed up in the slot at middle and leg, Rahul gets down on one knee to slog sweep this over square leg to deposit this into the crowd. India win by 8 wickets and take a one-nil lead in this series!
Another half-century for Suryakumar Yadav. His 8th in T20Is to go with that blistering hundred at Trent Bridge earlier this year. Can Rahul get to a fifty of his own now?
16.3 Tabraiz Shamsi to Suryakumar Yadav, BACK-TO-BACK FIFTIES FOR SKY! A touch short on middle stump, tucked to deep mid-wicket to bring up his half-century
16.2 Tabraiz Shamsi to KL Rahul, flighted full and straight on this occasion, clipped down to long-on to get closer to the target
16.1 Tabraiz Shamsi to Suryakumar Yadav, a tad short on the flat at the leg-stump line, Surya rocks back and across to work this through square leg for a single in the deep
Tabraiz Shamsi [2.0-0-18-0] is back into the attack. He will bowl over the wicket.
Just one strike away from sealing it now are India. The last few overs have made it seem like a stroll in the park but the story has been far from it.
16
overs
101 /2 score
0
1
4
4
0
1
runs
cricket bat icon KL Rahul
44 (54)
cricket bat icon Suryakumar Yadav *
48 (31)
cricket ball icon Kagiso Rabada
1 /16
15.6 Kagiso Rabada to Suryakumar Yadav, back of a length outside off, SKY flays it towards Bavuma at extra cover. Was that a drop? Not sure, but India get a single as the Proteas captain can only parry this away towards mid-off in the end
15.5 Kagiso Rabada to Suryakumar Yadav, good length delivery outside the off-stump, Surya drives it towards extra cover, no run