3 memorable India vs South Africa T20Is

The Temba Bavuma-led South African cricket team will take on the Men in Blue in a five-match T20 series in India from June 9 to 19. Five games will be played at different venues, as was the norm during the pre-COVID era.

The first match will be held at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on June 9. The subsequent games will take place in Cuttack (June 12), Visakhapatnam (June 14), Rajkot (June 17) and Bengaluru (June 19).

With Rohit Sharma being rested, Team India will be led by KL Rahul. Apart from Rohit, experienced batter Virat Kohli as well as senior pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami have also been given a break for the South Africa series. Keeper-batter Dinesh Karthik and all-rounder Hardik Pandya are the most prominent names making a comeback into the Indian team.

India vs South Africa T20Is: The best games so far

India and South Africa have faced each other in 15 T20Is so far, with Team India winning nine and the Proteas six. As we build on the series, let’s look at three memorable India vs South Africa T20Is over the years.

#3 Johannesburg (December 2006)

Dinesh Karthik was the Player of the Match in India’s first ever T20I. Pic: Getty Images
Dinesh Karthik was the Player of the Match in India’s first ever T20I. Pic: Getty Images

This match was special because it was India’s first ever T20I. The game was played in Johannesburg and India won the game by six wickets in rather impressive fashion. South Africa won the toss and batted first, but struggled to make an impact as they were restricted to 126 for nine.

Indian pacers Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar starred with figures of two for 15 and two for 10, respectively. Sreesanth, Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh claimed one wicket each as South Africa were never allowed any momentum into their innings. Albie Morkel, Justin Kemp and Johan van der Wath all got 20s but there were no big knocks from any of the Proteas batters.

India’s first:Test win — v England at Chennai in 1952 under Vijay Hazare ODI win — v East Africa at Leeds in 1975 under S Venkataraghavan T20 win — v South Africa at Johannesburg in 2006 under Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag (34 off 29) and Dinesh Mongia (38 off 45) guided India’s chase. Dinesh Karthik gave an early glimpse of his finishing capabilities that we saw in abundance during IPL 2022. He hit an unbeaten 31 off 28.

With nine needed off the last over, ‘DK’ slog-swept the first ball from Robin Peterson for a maximum over deep midwicket. He brought up India’s win in their first-ever T20I with a single past backward point off the penultimate ball of the match.

#2 Cape Town (February 2018)

Team India opener Shikhar Dhawan. Pic: Getty Images
Team India opener Shikhar Dhawan. Pic: Getty Images

India beat South Africa by seven runs in the Cape Town T20I in 2018, the deciding game of the three-match series. Sent into bat after losing the toss, the Men in Blue put up an impressive 172 for seven on the board. After Rohit Sharma was dismissed for 11, Shikhar Dhawan (47 off 40) and Suresh Raina (43 off 27) lent solidity to the innings. A cameo from Hardik Pandya (21 off 17) helped as the Men in Blue crossed the 170-run mark.

India then came up with a clinical bowling effort to restrict South Africa to 165 for six. Bhuvneshwar Kumar disguised Reeza Hendricks (seven) with a well-disguised knuckle ball, while Raina ended David Miller’s knock on 23. The left-hander pulled the part-timer straight to deep midwicket.

Proteas skipper Jean-Paul Duminy kept South Africa’s hopes alive with a half-century. However, his knock ended on 55 off 41 as he top-edged a slower ball from Shardul Thakur to mid-off.

Christiaan Jonker gave Team India a scare, clubbing five fours and two sixes in his 24-ball 49. Nineteen runs were needed off the last over but Bhuvneshwar conceded only 11. He also dismissed Jonker off the last ball as India clinched a closely-contested series.

#1 Colombo – (October 2012, T20 World Cup)

L Balaji of India celebrates the wicket of Morne Morkel. Pic: Getty Images
L Balaji of India celebrates the wicket of Morne Morkel. Pic: Getty Images

In a thrilling 2012 T20 World Cup encounter, India beat South Africa by just one run in Colombo. The Proteas sent India into bat after winning the toss and restricted the Men in Blue to 152 for six. Raina top-scored for India with 45 off 34 while Rohit, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni chipped in with valuable 20s. For the Proteas, Peterson and Morne Morkel claimed two wickets each.

Zaheer Khan got India off to a brilliant start with the ball, sending back Hashim Amla (0) with a length ball that shaped away and took the edge. Irfan Pathan accounted for Jacques Kallis (six) while Yuvraj got the massive scalps of AB de Villiers (13) and Faf du Plessis (65 off 38). De Villiers chopped the left-arm spinner back onto the stumps while du Plessis’ fine knock ended when he was caught at long-off.

India kept chipping away at the wickets and, in the end, it came down to the Proteas needing 14 off the last over with two wickets in hand. Albie Morkel swung the first ball from Lakshmipathy Balaji for six but was bowled off the very next delivery.

📽️ Throwback to this epic thriller when India sealed victory by just ONE run over South Africa at the 2012 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 💥

The other Morkel (Morne) then came in and smashed a maximum over square leg. However, he too was bowled by the medium pacer on the very next ball. The brilliant yorker gave India a one-run win. Despite the victory, India failed to make it to the semi-finals due to having a poor net run rate.

Also Read: Top 3 memorable batting performances by Team India players vs South Africa in T20Is

Also Read: Top 3 memorable bowling performances by Team India players vs South Africa in T20Is

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