In front of a jam-packed crowd at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Rahul sizzled with an eye-pleasing 57 of 28 balls, before Suryakumar brought out full carnage of 360 degree shots to make 61 off just 22 balls. Captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik played their parts well as India made merry and enthralled the fans by feasting on an ordinary bowling performance from South Africa, barring Keshav Maharaj’s 2/23 in four overs.
India were off to a fiery start right from the word go when Rahul placed a length ball from Kagiso Rabada between backward point and cover for four. The aggression from India then upped in the fourth over when Rahul nonchalantly flicked off wrists to send a Wayne Parnell delivery over deep backward square leg for six. On the very next ball, Rahul crisply brought out square drive off Parnell for four more. Before Rohit glanced through fine leg to make it the second four of the over. Rohit and Rahul took a four each in the next two overs off Lungi Ngidi and Keshav Maharaj to end the power-play at 57/0.
Post power-play, Rahul thumped Anrich Nortje all around the park. Smacking him for a brace of sixes and a four over the keeper’s head. Rohit increased the thrashing by taking successive boundaries in the ninth over costing 21 runs. The 96-run opening stand was broken by Maharaj when Rohit dragged a slog-sweep to deep mid-wicket. Rahul reached his fifty in 24 balls when he danced down the pitch to smack. Aiden Markram over long-on for six and brought up India’s hundred in the process. In the next over, Rahul missed the sweep on a skiddy delivery from Maharaj and was trapped lbw.
Suryakumar wept and cut through for fours in his first four balls to maintain the run-rate tempo. He then took Kagiso Rabada for cleaners in the 15th over. Flick-off wrists went for six over deep square leg, followed by loft over long-off for four. A scoop-pull over fine leg for four was followed by a scooping a flick over fine leg for six to take 22 runs of the over. Suryakumar’s carnage continued when he slapped a full toss off Ngidi over deep mid-wicket for six. Followed it up with a slice over the third man for four. He brought up his fifty in 18 balls with a fantastic uppercut over backward point for six on a no-ball off Parnell.
Kohli joined the boundary-hitting party with a six and two fours off Parnell, followed by a four off Ngidi. Kohli hit two more fours before Karthik applied finishing touches with a four and two sixes in the final over. To end a memorable batting show by India.