Sharma on fire as India win | Pakistan Today

Sharma on fire as India win

DURBAN – Rohit Sharma blazed a half-century as India cantered to a 21-run win over South Africa in a one-off Twenty20 international at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Sunday.
After India won the toss and elected to bat, Sharma weighed in with 53 off 34 balls to help India total 168 for six. South Africa, despite a destructive innings of 67 off 39 deliveries from Morne van Wyk, managed only 147 for nine in their 20 overs, with India’s off-spinner Yusuf Pathan and left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra picking up two wickets apiece.
Sharma, who came in with the tourists 18-1, hit five fours and two sixes before he holed out to deep midwicket off the bowling of off-spinner JP Duminy to leave India 109 for three in the 13th over. The left-handed Suresh Raina built on Sharma’s platform by helping himself to 41 runs from 23 balls before he was dismissed off the last ball of the innings.
Bowlers from either side failed to get much bounce on a wicket that was only laid four months ago in the converted football stadium. Seamer Juan Theron was the most successful bowler for the home side, with figures of two for 39, while left-arm quick Wayne Parnell was the most impressive bowler with one for 25 off his four overs.
The match was the last international appearance for paceman Makhaya Ntini, but the 33-year-old did not enjoy the best of days, for his four overs cost 46 runs. However, when he bowled his last delivery the crowd of 50,000 rose in a standing ovation for the man known as the “Mdingi Express”.
South Africa made a strong start to their reply thanks to Van Wyk’s belligerent knock. The 31-year-old opening batsman, playing in just his third T20 international, was a late addition to the South Africa squad after Graeme Smith pulled out with a bruised hand.
Van Wyk justified his inclusion as he raced to his fifty off 24 balls, a South Africa record in T20 internationals beating the previous best of 25 balls, a record jointly held by Smith, Loots Bosman and AB de Villiers.
However, he received scant support from his teammates. The next best score was 25, courtesy of Johan Botha. When Van Wyk’s knock was ended in the 11th over, leaving the Proteas 93 for five, the hosts’ challenge fell away.

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