KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav’s fifties helped India to beat South Africa in the series opener

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India defeated South Africa by 8 wickets in the first T20I to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. KL Rahul (51*) and Suryakumar (50*) Yadav scored contrasting half-centuries and put up an unbeaten 93-run partnership as the hosts chased down a below-par target of 107 on a difficult pitch. Earlier, Indian pacers Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar hit South African batters hard with magical swing bowling.

After being put into bat first, the Proteas had a very poor start. Chahar bowled an excellent in-swinging delivery to clean up the South African captain Temba Bavuma for a duck. In the next over, Arshdeep bowled out Quinton de Kock for just 1 and then stunned the visitors by dismissing Rilee Rossouw and David Miller for a duck in consecutive deliveries.

Chahar then bagged Tristan Stubbs and reduced the Proteas to 9/5. Aiden Markram showed little resistance and scored 25-runs before departing. Wayne Parnell chipped in with 24-runs while Keshav Maharaj played a crucial knock of 41-runs and helped his side to post a total of 106/8 in 20 overs. Arshdeep scalped three wickets while Chahar and Harshal bagged two wickets each.

In reply, South African fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada, Parnell, and Anrich Nortje made the most of the fiery conditions in Thiruvananthapuram to dismiss Rohit Sharma (0) and Virat Kohli (3) early. But Rahul and Suryakumar steadied the Indian innings with brilliant batting. Later on, both hit beautiful shots to clear the boundary ropes and clinched victory with ease. South Africa will look to bounce back in the 2nd T20I on October 2.

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