JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien put on an unbeaten stand of 105 to lead South Africa to a seven wicket victory over India in the first T20 International of the Freedom Series in Dharamsala on Friday. The Proteas won the toss and chose to bowl. Rohit Sharma (106) and Shikhar Dhawan put on an opening stand of 22 runs before Dhawan (3) departed, run out by Marchant De Lange (0/47).
In walked Virat Kohli (43) who went on to play a role in a 138-run partnership with the established Sharma which included a 66-ball century from the latter. They carved their runs around the field putting the South African bowlers under some severe pressure. However both batsmen’s innings came to and end within two balls of each other during a Kyle Abbott (2/29) over to bring two new batsmen to the crease with the score on 162/3.
Suresh Raina was joined by Mahendra Singh Dhoni (20 not out) but the former was not able to make an impact in the final stages. His replacement Ambati Rayudu (0) was run out off his first delivery. Axar Patel (2 not out) joined his skipper at the crease and saw them to 199/5 at the close of their innings.
In reply the visiting openers, Hashim Amla and AB De Villiers, put on a well played 77-run stand before the Test skipper was run out for 36. Du Plessis joined his good friend De Villiers (51) at the crease however their partnership lasted just 2.1 overs before the Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman was castled by Ravichandran Ashwin (1/26) leaving his side on 93/2. In walked Duminy to join his skipper at the crease however their stand was short lived as the captain departed similarly to his fellow Affies alumni for just four runs.
Behardien (32 not out) joined Duminy (68 not out) and they played some great cricket putting on a well constructed stand of 105 not out to take their team over the line with a comfortable seven wicket victory. The man of the match award was awarded to Duminy for his match-winning innings to guide the tourists to victory.