South Africa defeat Sri Lanka in the first T20I of the series of three matches with 28 runs on Friday at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Bat first, Reeza Hendricks and Quinton de Kock the visitors started flying fast establishing a 73-run stand for the first wicket. As South Africa was looking for a big total, the star of Sri Lanka was Wanindu Hasaranga ruined their plans and showed why he is considered one of the best all-rounders in the shortest format.
Hasaranga tackled the brakes by firing both Proteas’ De Kock (36) and Hendricks (38) in his consecutive overs. Binnekort, Heinrich Klasse (2) was caught by Maheesh Theekshana to reduce the tourists to 87/3.
Dan, Aiden Markram and David Miller took the lead and put their team out of hot water. The duo formed an important partnership of 65 runs for the fourth wicket to help South Africa put 163/5 on the plate in their allotted 20 overs. While Markram scored 48, Miller contributed by 26 runs.
In response, the hosts reached only 135/6 in 20 overs and lost the match by 28 runs. Opener Dinesh Chandimal scored a brilliant unbeaten 66 from 54 deliveries, but he could not get enough support from other batsmen.
South African captain Keshav Maharaj bowled brilliantly during his T20I debut. He conceded only 19 runs in his quota of 4 overs and picked up the valued scalp Bhanuka Rajapaksa (0).
“It’s a new role. It was good to get some playing time. Getting away from South African conditions is also a good challenge. There are a lot of experienced heads in our dressing room, and that makes it easier, ” said Markram after receiving the ‘Player of the Match’ award.
Here’s how Twitter responded:
Players to make their T20I debut as captain and take a wicket off their first ball: –
Paras Khadka🇳🇵 v HK, 2014
Keshav Maharaj🇿🇦 v SL, today#SLVSA
– Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) 10 September 2021
– Sri Lanka Tweet 💉 💉 (@SriLankaTweet) 10 September 2021
🚨 RESULT | 🇿🇦 #Proteas WON 28 RUNS
– Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) 10 September 2021
– Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) 10 September 2021
South Africa leads 1-0 in the series 👏
– ICC (@ICC) 10 September 2021
Once again great bowling performance from SA and they win the 1st T20I by 28 runs
Captain Keshav Maharaj made the choice of bowlers 1-19 at debut!#SLVSA
– ThePoppingCrease (@PoppingCreaseSA) 10 September 2021
T20I debut, captain of the team and chooses a wicket in the first ball – Dream comes through for Keshav Maharaj.
– Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) 10 September 2021
– CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) 11 September 2021
– Randula Fernando (@randuler) 11 September 2021