Durban: India came up with an all-round performance against South Africa in the one-off Twenty20 match to register a comprehensive 21-run victory over the hosts despite a valiant effort by Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman Morne van Wyk, who scored a dazzling 67.
Defending a tricky total of 168/6, Indian pacers went for too many runs in the initial overs despite picking up a couple of wickets. Van Wyk gave South African innings the much needed impetus as he plundered runs at will. His 39-ball stay at the crease entertained the Durban crowd as he slammed 5 fours and an equal number of sixes.
But once he got out, South Africa kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Their downfall started as soon as the Indian spinners took over the bowling duty from the pacers.
Yusuf Pathan (3/22), Yuvraj Singh (1/20), Ravichandran Ashwin (1/33) bowled cheaply as well as picked up vital wickets in the middle overs which derailed the Proteas innings. Though Munaf Patel gave away to many runs, Ashish Nehra (2/22) bowled really well to guide India to a clinical win.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma slammed a brilliant quick-fire half-century before Suresh Raina blasted 41 to guide India to a challenging 168/6 in the allotted 20 overs.
Sharma, who was bought by Indian Premier League team Mumbai Indians by a whopping amount yesterday, justified his worth by playing a brutal knock of 53 off just 34 balls. He took all the Proteas bowlers to the cleaners, hammering 5 fours and 2 sixes during his entertaining knock.
After his departure, India lost three quick wickets which temporarily derailed their innings but it was ever-dependable Suresh Raina who kept the Indian innings on track and helped the tourists post a competitive total in the end. Raina’s 23-ball 41 consisted of two fours and three huge sixes.
Winning the toss, India were off to a flyer as they crossed the 50-run mark in the 6th over of the innings.
But they lost both the openers in quick succession. Despite losing them, India raced past the 100-run mark in the 11th over of the innings.
Rohit Sharma departed for 53 when he tried to hit J P Duminy out of the park, holing out to Ntini at long-on.
Immediately after his wicket, Yuvraj Singh was ran-out due to a terrible mix-up with Yusuf Pathan for 12. Yusuf Pathan also did not last long as he was bowled by Juan Theron for only 6.
India started the match without star players Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and S Sreesanth.