South Africa T20 1st

India's players congratulate bowler Hardik Pandya (center right) and fielder Shikhar Dhawan (center) after their dismissal of unseen South African batsman David Miller during the first T20 cricket match between South Africa and India at The Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Johannesburg on Feb. 18. (Christiaan Kotze/AFP/Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG — India’s 203-5 was too much for South Africa as the tourists maintained their dominance in the limited-overs games with a 28-run win in the first Twenty20 Feb. 18.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, recalled to the India team after a rest, took a T20 career-best 5-24 as South Africa could only muster 175-9 in its response after opting to bowl first.

Kumar took three of his wickets in the 18th over, an over which also included a run out, and South Africa was finished off when it went from 154-4 to 159-8 in those six balls.

Even before the flurry of wickets, South Africa was still up against it.

India’s victory means that after losing the test series 2-1, the tourists have won six of the seven limited-overs games played so far. India took the ODI series 5-1 and was as convincing in the first 20-over game. There are two more T20s to play.

India’s 203-5, its highest T20 score against South Africa, was set up by 72 off 39 balls from opener Shikhar Dhawan. Manish Pandey contributed 29 not out in his first game on tour.

Junior Dala took 2-47 on his international debut for South Africa.

Reeza Hendricks replicated Dhawan’s innings with 70 from 50 balls opening the batting for South Africa, but only Farhaan Behardien provided meaningful support with his 39.

Kumar got the ball to swing in his early overs, and used clever changes of pace at the end to ensure India was always in control.

He began that eventful 18th over with the wicket of Hendricks, who skied a catch to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Kumar got Heinrich Klaasen and Chris Morris out off the fourth and fifth balls, both caught at long-on. Kumar missed out on a personal hat trick, but India took a team hat trick, when Dane Paterson was run out off the next delivery.

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