February 18, 2018 / 4:56 PM / 3 months ago

Kumar rips through South Africa to lead India to T20 victory

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar took career-best figures of 5-24 to help India ease to a 28-run victory over South Africa in the opening Twenty20 International of their three-game series at the Wanderers on Sunday.

Having been sent in to bat, India plundered 203 for five from their 20 overs on a flat batting wicket as opener Shikhar Dhawan hit a superb 72 from 39 balls.

It is India’s highest innings total against South Africa in the shortest format of the game, with debutant seamer Junior Dala (2-47 in four overs) the most successful home bowler.

South Africa were in the game until Kumar’s final over when he picked up the key wicket of Reeza Hendricks (70 from 50 balls), and then dismissed Heinrich Klaasen (16) and Chris Morris (0) in successive balls, before Dane Paterson (1) was the fourth wicket to fall as he was run out.

The home side ended their innings on 175 for nine, continuing their struggles against the tourists in the limited overs matches on the tour having been thrashed 5-1 in the one-day international series.

South Africa were dealt a blow before the start of the match as their best batsman AB de Villiers was ruled out of the series with a knee injury.

The second Twenty20 clash will be played in Pretoria on Wednesday, with the final game on Saturday in Cape Town.

Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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