South Africa defeated Sri Lanka in the first T20I of the three-match series by 28 runs at R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday.
Batting first, Reeza Hendricks and Quinton de Kock took the visitors to a flying start establishing a 73-run stand for the opening wicket. As South Africa were looking set for a big total, Sri Lanka star Wanindu Hasaranga ruined their plans and showcased why he is regarded as one of the best all-rounders in the shortest format.
Hasaranga put the brakes on run-flow by dismissing both the Proteas openers De Kock (36) and t Hendricks (38) in his consecutive overs. Soon, Heinrich Klassen (2) was trapped in front by Maheesh Theekshana to reduce the tourists to 87/3.
Then, Aiden Markram and David Miller took charge and put their team out from hot waters. The duo went on to form a crucial 65-runs partnership for the fourth wicket to help South Africa post 163/5 on the board in their allotted 20 overs. While Markram scored 48, Miller contributed with 26 runs.
In reply, the hosts only managed to reach 135/6 in 20 overs, losing the contest by 28 runs. Opener Dinesh Chandimal scored a brilliant unbeaten 66 off 54 deliveries, but he couldn’t get enough support from other batters.
South Africa skipper Keshav Maharaj bowled brilliantly on his T20I debut. He conceded only 19 runs in his quota of 4 overs and picked up the prized scalp of Bhanuka Rajapaksa (0).
“It’s a new role. Getting some game time has been good. Away from South African conditions is a good challenge as well. There are a lot of experienced heads in our changing room, and they make it easier,” said Markram after receiving the ‘Player of the Match’ award.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Players to make their T20I debut as a captain and take a wicket off their first ball:-
Paras Khadka🇳🇵 v HK, 2014
Keshav Maharaj🇿🇦 v SL, today#SLvSA
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) September 10, 2021
— Sri Lanka Tweet 🇱🇰 💉 (@SriLankaTweet) September 10, 2021
🚨 RESULT | 🇿🇦 #Proteas WON BY 28 RUNS
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) September 10, 2021
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) September 10, 2021
South Africa take 1-0 series lead 👏
— ICC (@ICC) September 10, 2021
Great bowling performance once again from SA and they win the 1st T20I by 28 runs
Captain Keshav Maharaj the pick of the bowlers with 1-19 on debut!#SLvSA
— ThePoppingCrease (@PoppingCreaseSA) September 10, 2021
T20I debut, captaining the team and picks a wicket in the first ball – Dream come through for Keshav Maharaj.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) September 10, 2021
— CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) September 11, 2021
— Randula Fernando (@randuler) September 11, 2021