IND v SA, 1st ODI: Samson, Iyer fifties go in vain as India lose to South Africa by nine runs
Sanju Samson put in a heroic effort in his undefeated knock of 86 not out, and Shreyas Iyer scored a fifty-run counterattack.
The first ODI, which was postponed due to rain and shortened to 40 overs for each side at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Thursday, saw India lose to South Africa by nine runs.
After David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen scored uninterrupted fifty-plus scores to propel South Africa to 249/4, Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell each removed Shubman Gill and Shikhar Dhawan from the game in the first six overs, dealing major blows to India’s hopes of chasing 250.
Ruturaj Gaikwad, a rookie, resisted for 42 balls but only managed 19 runs before being stumped by Tabraiz Shamsi. Ishan Kishan’s 37-ball stint at the crease in the following over came to an end when Keshav Maharaj’s catch on the inner edge was taken by leg-slip.
India appeared to have won the match when they reached 51/4 in 17.4 overs. Iyer, however, gave the pursuit some much-needed momentum by using his feet and good timing to attack the bowlers. He swept, lofted, and punched Tabraiz Shamsi in a bizarre attack to score a hat-trick of
Iyer resumed his counterattacking innings by hitting Lungi Ngidi twice for fours before playing a late cut-off Maharaj to reach fifty in 33 deliveries. Iyer, though, was misled by an extra bounce on a short ball in the very next over and pulled straight to mid-on.
Shardul Thakur had a strong start with two quick fours and survived two lbw shouts from Shamsi, on which South Africa burned their full allotment of reviews, even though the needed run rate was approaching 10. Before scoring his second ODI fifty, Samson took the initiative to be the aggressor, lofting and pulling brilliantly for boundaries.
Samson attempted to give India an unlikely victory by hitting three fours and a six in the final over off Shamsi, who was giving up 20 runs, but Kuldeep Yadav and Avesh Khan rapidly fell. However, India was unable to avert a close defeat.