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South Africa chase down India’s 199

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Newsgram Staff Writer

Dharmasala: Jean-Paul Duminy and AB de Villiers played a blinder of an innings to guide South Africa to a comfortable seven-wicket win over India in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium here on Friday. The Proteas victory overshadowed Rohit Sharma’s 66-ball 106

Duminy (68 of 34 balls, 1×4 7×6) and Farhaan Behardien (32 of 23 balls, 4×4 1×6) remained unbeaten as South Africa chased down India’s mammoth score of 199/5 in 20 overs to post 200/3 in 19.4 overs.

While de Villiers (51 of 32 balls) started the proceedings for the visitors in the run chase, Duminy and Behardien stitched an unbeaten 105-run stand for the fourth wicket to script a memorable victory for the visitors and thus help South Africa go 1-0 up in three-match series.

South Africa got off to a flying start scoring over ten an over in the first seven overs. But batsman Hashim Amla (36) who was looking set ran himself out in the eighth over, handing India their breakthrough.

But the wicket didn’t bother his partner, de Villiers who went on scoring freely and helping his side maintain a steady run rate. But just after completing his half-century, he tried to step put off the bowling off Ravichandran Ashwin but the clever spinner bowled a lot slower and the ball brushed his back thigh and deflected on to the stumps.

Skipper Faf du Plessis (4) didn’t trouble the scoring too much as he went back cheaply putting the visitors in a bit of trouble in a chase of 200. The team was 95/3 in 11th over then.

But Duminy and Behardien played sensibly, using all their experience to build on a match winning partnership to take the visitors home.

For India, Ravichandran Ashwin (1/26) was the pick of the bowlers.

Earlier after being sent into bat, India received a setback when opener Shikhar Dhawan (3) was run out while trying to steal a single of miss-field. His valiant dive wasn’t enough to save his wicket as India was reduced to 22/1 in 3.1 overs.

The other opener Sharma (106, 12×4, 5×6) though tried to shake off the disappointment and hit some lusty blows to rev up India’s run rate, which reached 50 in 6.4 overs.

Kohli (43 of 27 balls, 1×4, 3×6) also joined the act, hitting a consecutive six and a four at the start of the eighth over off pacer Chris Morris.

Sharma reached the 50-run mark in the ninth over, guiding a wide delivery off pacer Kyle Abbott to the boundary.

The Sharma-Kohli 138-run second wicket partnership enabled India to launch a no-holds-barred charge in the death overs.

Sharma began the charge scoring boundaries almost at will. The 28-year-old right-hander brought up his century with a majestic six over long on off pacer Merchant de Lange in the 15th over.

Kohli also achieved a personal milestone in the process, becoming the first Indian to score 1,000 runs in T20 internationals.

Though first Kohli and then Sharma departed in the same over, dismissed by Abbott, India were firmly placed to post a strong total. Abbot was South Africa’s most successful bowler picking up two wickets for 29 runs.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Karun Nair Opens Up Over New Opportunities in His Life

Nair has had a moderate IPL so far, scoring 246 runs in 11 matches at 24.60.

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Nair has had a moderate IPL so far, scoring 246 runs in 11 matches at 24.60.
Nair is currently playing for Kings XI Punjab in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). wikimedia commons

Back in the Indian Test cricket team after more than a year, middle-order batsman Karun Nair says he is now working to become an all-format player in future.

The 26-year-old Karnataka right-hander will replace Virat Kohli in the Indian team, which will take on debutants Afghanistan in Bengaluru from June 14-18.

Captain Kohli will play for English county side Surrey during that time to prepare for the England tour later this year.

Nair is currently playing for Kings XI Punjab in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).

“I am really excited to be wearing those whites again and representing my country has always been an honour and privilege. I am really looking forward to it,” Nair told IANS in a telephonic interview.

“I have worked really hard over the last one and half years. My form in the IPL and the way I have batted, I consider myself an all-format player and it’s just about getting those opportunities and making the most of them,” said Nair when asked about common perception that the Karnataka willower is a Test specialist.

“It’s just that finding a spot in the one day team is difficult. I need to do better to get those opportunities and I am on the right track. I will do everything I can with the bat to make sure I play all formats,” he said.

Nair, who scored an unbeaten 303 against England in the fifth test in Chennai two years back, will lead the India A side in the four-day matches in the UK. For India A’s One-Day tri-series assignment in the UK, he has not been picked.

Back in the Indian Test cricket team after more than a year, middle-order batsman Karun Nair says he is now working to become an all-format player in future.
Karun Nair will lead the India A side in the four-day matches in the UK. wikimedia commons

“I am really happy to be leading the team. It’s a great opportunity for us as a team to be playing in England and learning how to play cricket in England,” said Nair, who played his last Test against Australia in Dharamsala last year before being dropped to accommodate Rohit Sharma in the playing XI.

“We need to learn to adjust to those conditions. For me as a captain, we have a talented bunch of youngsters who are really exciting,” he added.

Nair has had a moderate IPL so far, scoring 246 runs in 11 matches at 24.60.

Talking about Kings XI who are experiencing a downturn after losing four of their previous five games, Nair said it’s time to get their act together at the business end of the season. Punjab have 12 points from 11 matches.

“It’s almost the business end of the tournament. So we need to get our act together,” he said.

“The matches that we have won, we have completely played as a team. Individual performances have helped like K.L. Rahul has batted exceptionally well in some of the games.

“Chris (Gayle) has also batted superbly in few games. But it has been a collective effort overall,” Nair said.

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Nair also lavished praise on Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin, saying he has done exceedingly well in his first year as captain.

“It’s been brilliant under Ash. He has done exceedingly well as a captain and to be captaining in the IPL for the first time, he has done exceptionally well,” he said.

“He has always been a smart cricketer, if you look at his bowling he always has different plans for different batsmen and he can change it anytime during the game. He takes wise and quick decisions which is definitely needed in T20 cricket. I hope we win more games under his captaincy.” (IANS)