India’s hopes of winning a record 13th consecutive T20I game were dashed as they lost to South Africa in the first game of the five-match series at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Thursday. After being put into bat, India posted a strong total of 211 for four in 20 overs, with Ishan Kishan emerging as the top-scorer with 76 off 48 balls. In reply, South Africa, despite losing an early wicket, chased down the total with five balls to spare.
While the match might’ve ended with a defeat, it was a special occasion for India cricketers Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik as both players made their return to the side. While Hardik last featured for India during the T20 World in the UAE last year, Karthik made a comeback after being sidelined for almost three years.
Hardik played a quickfire knock of 31 not out off just 12 balls, smashing three sixes and two boundaries. However, during his knock, Hardik refused to take a single on the penultimate delivery of the Indian innings with Karthik at the non-striker’s end. Hardik, after hitting Anrich Nortje’s full-length delivery towards midwicket, refused to take a single and give Karthik the strike.
— RohitKohliDhoni (@RohitKohliDhoni) June 9, 2022
South Africa eventually won the match by seven wickets. Chasing a target of 212, Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller played unbeaten knocks of 75 (46) and 64 (31), respectively. With the win, South Africa took a 1-0 lead in the series. The second T20I will be played at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Sunday, June 12.