Doubts were raised all around when Jean-Paul Duminy was appointed as captain for the franchisee. Through his self belief he has effectively gained the respect of his peers and DD fans alike. Putting up consistent performances with the bat, impacting with the bowl and showing a lot of class reacting to the ups & downs of the season he has demonstrated great leadership
South Africa have won a close game against India in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at Dharamsala, thanks to a comeback staged by JP Duminy. South Africa’s pursuit of 200 was off to a rocking start when AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla took the bowlers apart in the six overs of power play. De Villiers was scoring at more than a strike-rate of 190, while Amla was not far behind with a strike-rate in the 160s. India were pushed on the backfoot early on, but the complexion of the game changed significantly after the end of field restrictions when MS Dhoni brought the spinners on. SCORECARD: India vs South Africa 1st T20I at HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala
After a tight over from Akshar Patel, the pressure was back on the South Africans which resulted in the run out of Amla. The key was with de Villiers after that, but he did not quite manage to set his eye in against the spinners and was dismissed one ball after scoring a fifty with Ravichandran Ashwin clean bowling him. LIVE UPDATES: India vs South Africa 1st T20I at Dharamsala
Skipper Faf du Plessis was the next person to be dismissed cheaply and he got out for just five runs, which left JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien at the crease. The spinners maintained the pressure and at one stage when the asking rate climbed beyond 12 with the batsmen still looking unsettled, it looked like doom awaited South Africa.
However, another twist in the plot was managed by Duminy by taking Akshar Patel apart for three consecutive sixes in the 16th over. After that over, the match was in the balance and it boiled down to which side held their nerve better. India were denied the crucial wicket of Duminy in an umpiring error. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had him plumb in front, but the umpire ruled against his appeal. Duminy went on to win South Africa the match, by scoring an unbeaten 68 at a strike-rate of 200.
Earlier, India’s innings was pillared by a fabulous hundred by Rohit Sharma. Of the 199 runs, Rohit contributed 106 off 66 deliveries. He was well supported by Virat Kohli who scored 43 off 26 balls. Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni did the finish rites for India after the dismissals of the duo of Kohli and Rohit. South Africa’s bowlers began well and finished reasonably well, but were all over the place in the middle overs. Kyle Abbott was the pick of the bowlers taking the wickets of both Rohit and Kohli and conceded just 29 runs in his four overs.
India 199 for five in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 106, Virat Kohli 43; Kyle Abbott 2 for 29) lost to South Africa 200 for three in 19.4 overs (AB de Villiers 51, JP Duminy 68*; Ravi Ashwin 1 for 26) by seven wickets.
Excerpts taken from Cricket Country, written by Rishad D’Souza