Dharamshala, Oct. 2 (ANI): South Africa kicked off their tour of India on a winning note after defeating the hosts by seven wickets in the opening T20 international of the three-match series in Dharamshala on Friday.
JP Duminy smacked a brisk 68 not out off 34 balls and struck an unbeaten 105-run fourth wicket partnership with Farhaan Behardien (32 not out) to steer South Africa to victory with two balls remaining.
Although India tried to wrestle their way back into the game through the middle with spin and R Ashwin’s masterful variations, Behardien and Duminy played it expertly to give the tourists a 1-0 lead in the series.
Chasing an imposing 200-run target, South Africa started on a solid note as openers Hashim Amla and star batsman AB de Villiers engineered a 77-run partnership for the opening stand.
De Villiers made 51 off 32 deliveries, while Amla provided an able support with 36 before getting run out.
Put in to bat first, India recovered well after the dismissal of opener Shikhar Dhawan as Rohit and Virat Kohli swiftly accelerated the innings by making a robust 138-run partnership for the second wicket at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association stadium.
Rohit (106) smacked his maiden T20 hundred off 66 balls, including 12 fours and five sixes, while Kohli (43) became the first Indian to cross 1000 runs in the 20-overs format.
The Mahatma Gandhi-Nelson Mandela series will also feature five one-day matches before starting a four-Test series starting from November 5. (ANI)