Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 29 (ANI): Following the eight-wicket defeat to India, South African skipper Temba Bavuma said that his side did not expect the surface to play the way it did.
Arshdeep Singh's three-wicket haul followed by Suryakumar Yadav's 50* and KL Rahul's unbeaten knock of 51 helped India defeat South Africa by eight wickets in the first match of the three-match T20I series here at Greenfield International Stadium on Wednesday.
"As a batting unit we failed to apply ourselves in those conditions. We did not expect the pitch to play this way. Yes, we expected it to be spicy but normally you will be able to hit through the line in this part of the world. Seamers needed runs behind them to defend. They tried their best and supported by spinners as well. I thought we fought well late with the bat. That is a positive," said Bavuma in a post-match presentation.
With this victory, India leads the series 1-0.
Put to bat first by India, South Africa had a start that even nightmarish would be an understatement. The unreal swing generated by Deepak Chahar and Arshdeep Singh saw the Proteas lose half of their team for just nine runs in less than three overs.
However, fighting knocks from Keshav Maharaj (41), Aiden Markram (24) and Wayne Parnell (24) helped them save face and post 106/8 in 20 overs.
Chahar (2/24) and Arshdeep (3/32) delivered brilliant four-over spells for India and destroyed South Africa's top order. Harshal Patel (2/26) and Axar Patel (1/16) also impressed with their spells. The Men in Blue took full advantage of everything the surface had to offer.
Chasing 107, India was off to a slow start, losing Rohit Sharma (0) and Virat Kohli (3) cheap to Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.
India were 17/2 in their six overs after conclusion of the powerplay. KL Rahul (51*) and in-form Suryakumar Yadav (50*) took the game ahead, with Rahul anchoring and Suryakumar being the aggressor. Both stitched a match-winning 93-run stand to help India secure an eight-wicket win.
Arshdeep Singh won the 'Man of the Match' award for his brilliant spell.
The second T20I will take place in Guwahati on October 2. (ANI)