The 1st T20 match, as expected, was an entertaining one with lots of fours and sixes. However, it was the South African team, who emerged victorious as they chased down India's total off 199 runs with two balls to spare and seven wickets remaining.
After a great start by Amla and de Villiers, South Africa required someone to finish off the match for the Proteas and JP Duminy, who was awarded man of the match for his 34 ball 68, stood tall even he was under immense pressure especially when Ashwin was bowling to him.
India will be mighty disappointed with their performance after their batsmen did a terrific job -- especially Rohit Sharma with a brilliant century -- putting up a massive total on the board. However, Indian bowlers need to step up the game in the remainder of the series.
With such start to the series, one cannot wait for the second T20I in Cuttack on Monday. Till then, take care.
SA take 1-0 series lead after Duminy and Behardien help Proteas cross the finishing line.
10:40 :After conceding three runs from the first two balls, Arvind bowls a waist-high full toss to Duminy, who hits a huge six to dampen any hopes of an Indian win. Duminy finishes it off with a single run and helps SA take 1-0 series lead. SA 200/3, 19.4 overs, (Duminy 68*, Behardien 32*)
SA need another 9 runs with 7 wickets and 6 balls remaining
10:32 Pressure on India as Duminy smashes Bhuvi for 10 runs from the first two balls and follows it up with a single. The game has become very interesting and, to be fair, with Duminy in such great form, SA are favourite now . SA 190/3, 19 overs, (Duminy 59*, Behardien 32*)
SA need 24 runs with 7 wickets and 12 balls remaining
10:29: Duminy puts pressure on Mohit Sharma, who is greeted with a six, however, the bowler does well to only allow 5 runs in the remaining balls. SA are definitely inching closer. SA 176/3, 18 overs, (Duminy 47*, Behardien 30*)
SA need 35 runs with 7 wickets and 18 balls remaining
10:25: Bhuvi bowls a perfect bowl at Duminy's pad, which surely pitched on and was hitting the wickets as well. Duminy lucky as the umpires feels it is not out. Eight runs from four balls so far. Wild swing by Duminy, who misses the ball completely. Good over from Bhuvi in the context of the match, nine runs. SA 165/3, 17 overs, (Duminy38*, Behardien29*).
SA need 44 runs with 7 wickets and 24 balls remaining
10:14: Patel rolling his arm over to Duminy and Behardien. India are in the drivers seat, but one big over could change everything and her it is for South Africa. Three runs from the first two balls, followed by a wide. Duminy hits an important six and pressure back on Patel, Duminy hits another six as Patel drops it short. Duminy has changed the course of the game as Duminy hits the third six of the over. SA 156/3, 16 overs, (Duminy33*, Behardien28*).
SA need 66 runs with 7 wickets and 30 balls remaining
10:09: The game is really in an interesting phase, which can be understood by the pensive faces in the crowd. Ashwin is bowling a tight line and length and putting pressure on SA, but Behardien pulls a short ball for a huge six. SA 134/3, 15 overs, (Duminy15*, Behardien25*).
SA need 74 runs with 7 wickets and 36 balls remaining
10:04: Mohit Sharma brought back into the attack. Dhoni preserving Ashwin for the last few overs. Behardien hooks the ball and splits the gap on the leg side for a boundary and follows it up with a single on the off-side. Behardien lofts the ball over the bowlers head for another boundary. 11 runs from Mohit's over. SA 126/3, 14 overs, (Duminy14*, Behardien18*).
SA need 85 runs with 7 wickets and 42 balls remaining
10pm JP Duminy hits a huge six, which was the need of the hour for South Africa. Axar Patel needs to come back strongly and Behardien ends the over with a boundary over extra cover. Good over for SA as they score 11 runs. SA 115 /3, 13overs, (Duminy12*, Behardien9*).
SA need 96 runs with 7 wickets and 48 balls remaining
9:52: Meanwhile Ashwin has his tail up as he is not only turning the ball, but also giving the ball plenty of air with good mix of variations. The South Africans need to step up their gear and not leave it too late for the likes of David Miller, who can score quick runs. Brilliant over from Ashwin, just five runs. SA 104 /3, 12overs, (Duminy5*, Behardien5*).
9:45: Wise move by Dhoni, as he brings back Arvind into the picture with two new batsmen on the crease. The move pays dividends as the debutant dismisses skipper, du Plessis. in a matter of few balls, the tide has changed towards India's favour.Behardien walsk onto the bat and gets off the mark with a boundary. SA 99/3, 11overs, (Duminy1*, Behardien4*)
du Plessis out, Arvind's first T20I wicket.
9:40: Ashwin dismisses AB de Villiers (bowled) soon after the South African completes his half century. It is time for India to capitalise and put pressure on the two new batsmen at the crease - du Plessis and Duminy. Ashwin seems to be on top after dismissing de Villiers. SA 93/2, 10 overs, (Duminy0*, du Plessis 3*)
9:38: AB de Villiers out
9:35: Despite Amla's wicket, de Villiers is continuing his good form with the bat as he drives the ball throuh the covers for a boundary. However, what looks encouraging is the fact that Patel is spinning the ball, which can trouble the batsmen. SA 87/1, 9 overs, (De Villiers 47*, du Plessis 2*)
9:30: Ashwin into the attack. India's last hope. The spinner has to break this partnership at any cost to bring India back into the game. However, Amla and de Villiers playing it safe against Ashwin and looking for singles only, but Amla is run out now.du Plessis walks onto bat. Now, India has to pressurise the new batsmen. SA 80/1, 8 overs, (De Villiers 42*, du Plessis 0*)
9:26: Axar Patel - Spin introduction. However, Ashwin is going to be the key for India as wickets are hard to come by with the opening duo in sensational form. when will Dhoni bring India's trump card? Decent start from Patel, who is unlucky as Dhoni drops a difficult catch behind the wicket. Amla lucky. SA 72/0, 7overs, (Amla 33*, De Villiers 36*)
9:20: South Africa have made full use of the field restrictions as they have scored runs all around the ground with utmost ease. The Indian bowlers have not bowled badly, but SA batsmen have been too good. The sixth over bowled by Mohit Sharma is decent as he concedes just seven runs. SA 67/0, 6overs, (Amla 31*, De Villiers 35*)
9:16: Arvind comes onto bowl. If Ab de Villiers plays most of his shots in the air, Amla is just the opposite as he makes batting look so easy, playing it all along the carpet. Amla with yet another elegant boundary through the off-side, which makes Dhoni change the field and have a sweeper cover when Amla is on strike. The South African openers are milking runs as de Villiers semi-hooks the ball for a boundary. India in trouble. SA 60/0, 5overs, (Amla 25*, De Villiers 34*)
9:12: Mohit Sharma replaces debutant Arvind. Sharma, who started decently, is hooked by Ab de Villiers for a top edged boundary and the South African follows it up with another boundary on the off-side. De Villiers is making Dhoni think and one could see Ashwin rolling his arm over soon. SA 46/0, 4overs, (Amla 18*, De Villiers 27*)
9:07: de Villiers, as expected, attacking Indian bowlers, however, the South African is lucky as he mistimes a shot, but falls safe in no man's land. Meanwhile, we might just be talking about de Villiers and his expolits, Amla is on his own groove, scoring runs all around the park. SA 34/0, 3overs, (Amla 18*, De Villiers 16*)
9:03: Arvind to bowl from the other end. de Villiers, who will hold the key for SA, gets off the mark with a single. de Villiers welcomes Arvind to T20I as he comes down the track and lofts the bowler for a huge six. de Villiers already looking dangerous as he cuts Arvind for another boundary on the off-side. SA 24/0, 2overa, (Amla 13*, De Villiers 11*)
9pm: Ab De Villiers and Hashim Amla walks onto bat. Bhuvneshwar Kumar to open the bowling for India. Amla hits the ground running, getting off the mark with a boundary in the first ball of the over and scores 10 runs off the first three balls. This is what the doctor had ordered for South Africa. SA 10/0, 1over, (Amla 10*, De Villiers 0*)
The biggest highlight in the first innings was Rohit Sharma's splendid ton as he was dismissed for 106 runs from 66 balls. En route to the amazing century, he smashed five sixes and 12 boundaries. However, one should also not forget Kohli's contribution with 43 runs. As a result of which India finished with 199 runs. Can India contain the Ab de Villiers and co?
South Africa need 200 runs to win
8:45: MS Dhoni finishes the innings with a huge six over Abbott's head. However, South Africa needs to be congratulated the way they came back after taking Rohit's wicket. India 199/5, 20 overs. (Dhoni 20*, Axar Patel 2*)
Two wickets for South Africa in the 19th over. Can India reach 200? India 189/5 19overs.
Rayudu walks off without troubling the scorers. Run out.
8:37: Morris, after conceding two singles off his first two balls, traps Raina LBW. Another wicket down for India.Morris is a fine exponent of death bowling.
2 overs remaining. 18 runs short of 200.
8:33: Lange bowls short to Dhoni, who hooks it for a four. Dhoni is one of the best players of the hook shot in the Indian batting line up. Raina clears his left leg out and hits a six with his trademark shot in the mid wicket region. India 182/3, 18overs, (Dhoni 6* Raina 13*).
8:29: Now, it all depends on Raina and Dhoni to finish off the innings after the solid start given by Rohit and Kohli. Raina opens his account with a six with a hook shot. Rabada, has to be said, was unlucky as it was a top edge. The game can be cruel at times. India 170/3, 17overs, (Dhoni 1* Raina 6*).
8:23: Suth Africa have a chance to come back into the game as Kohli and Rohit are dismissed in the same over. Two new batsmen at the crease - Dhoni and Raina. India 162/3, 16overs,
Rohit Sharma out for 106 runs.
Suresh Raina walks onto bat.
Virat Kohli is dismissed as he pulls the ball straight to the fielder in mid-wicket. India 160/2, 15.3overs, (Rohit 103*)
Rohit Sharma completes century
8:15pm: A decent over from Lange so far. Free hit awarded for no-ball, but Kohli cannot take advantage as he mishits on the offisde. 150 up for India as Rohit flicks the ball for a boundary and splits the two fielders in the leg side and completes his century with a elegant six over long off. India 158/1, 15overs, (Rohit 103* Kohli 42*)
8:10: South Africa under pressure, as Duminy misfields to let in another four. Irrespective of the bowler, Rohit is in an attacking mood. He only knows one thing at present -- attack is the best defense --. South Africa needs to break this partnership to comeback into the game. India 140/1, 14overs, (Rohit 91* Kohli 39*)
First verbal exchange of the match - Rabada vs Rohit, latter letting his bat do the talking.
8:05: Rabada comes back and Rohit welcomes him with a huge six down the ground. India well on course for a score in excess of 220 runs. Kohli and Rohit playing some sensible cricket, rotating strike at will and going for a huge shot when a chance comes by. Rohit is striking it clean as he hits another six over mid wicket. India 129/1, 13overs, (Rohit 82* Kohli 37*)
8pm: Massive six from Rohit, who plays the slog sweep to good effect to Tahir. A repeat shot, but this time it is Kohli, another six. Yet another six stright down the ground from Kohli. 21 runs from the over. India 115/1, 12overs, (Rohit 69* Kohli 36*)
7:55: After two singles, Rohit Sharma attacks Duminy, does not comes from the middle of the bat, couple of runs. Rohit must be seeing the ball as big as a football, the way he is playing with utmost ease. 8 runs from Duminy's first over. India 94/1, 11overs, (Rohit 61* Kohli 23*)
JP Duminy comes onto bowl, GOLDEN ARM MAN
India are looking dangerous. SA need to break this partnership.
7:50: Rohit Sharma reaches his 50 with a beautiful upper cut to the third man region. He needs to carry on. Rohit is toying with the SA bowlers, as Abbot is hit for another cheeky boundary over fine leg. India 86/1, 10overs, (Rohit 56* Kohli 21*)
7:45: Too much width from Tahir and Rohit, who puts it away for a boundary in the off-side. India are in the driver's seat as Tahir is also not able work his magic through. South Africa need a wicket, else this pair might take the game away from them. India 75/1, 9overs, (Rohit 46* Kohli 20*)
7:42: Six to Virat Kohli, who attacks Chris Morris straight down the ground, follows it with a wristy four. Despite being scored off easily by Rohit and Kohli, Morris is still producing decent bounce. Now, Rohit and Kohli are looking for singles only. Good over for India as they score 14 runs.India 65/1, 8overs, (Rohit 40* Kohli 19*)
7:38: Good running from Kohli and Rohit as they run for a quick couple. Both the players seem to be wary of Tahir's threat as they are playing him with respect. India 51/1, 7overs, (Rohit 38* Kohli 7*)
Imran Tahir comes onto bowl.
7:34: The Indian innings has all been about Rhit, who hits yet another boundary onto the leg side. This is clever batting from Rohit, who is picking his spots and rotating the strike with ease. Meanwhile, Kohli is allowing Rohit to face as many balls as possible. Once again, Rohit plays the pull shot and this time clears the fence with ease. 14 runs from the over.India 46/1,6overs (Rohit 35*ohli 3)
7:24: Kohli off the mark with a dab to third man. All the South African seamers are getting the ball to bounce very well. Rabada finished his second over on a tify note. India 25/1, 4overs, (Rohit 18* Kohli 2)
Virat Kohli walks onto bat.
7:18: Out!!! Shikhar Dhawan run out, India 22/1, 3.1 overs, (Rohit 18* Dhawan 3)
The opening pair runs after a misfield, which cost India dearly.
7:16: Marchant de Lange, who replaces Abbott, getting decent bounce from the pitch. Rohit Sharma hits it in front of square for his third boundary via his favourite pull shot. Rohit loking in reat form as he makes room ro drive the ball in the off-side. India 21/0, 3 overs, (Rohit 18* Dhawan 2*)
7:12: Dhawan gets off the mark straight away, as Kasigo Rabada bowls from the other end. Good yorker to Rohit, who had to dig it out, done quite easily. Seems to be a good toss to win. Plenty of bounce in the 22 yeard strip. Rohit on the up through the off-side for a delightful four. The ball comes in and Rohit tucks it for a single. India 11/0, 2 overs, (Rohit 9* Dhawan 1*)
7:05: Kyle Abbott opens the bowling for South Africa with Rohit Sharma facing the first ball of the historic series. After surviving a close LBW call, Rohit gets off the mark with a boundary. Good over from Abbott. India 4/0, 1 over, (Rohit 4* Dhawan 0*)
7pm: All eyes on Indian openers, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Both the players possess an aggressive game, but they need to be careful early on, assess the conditions, and take it from there.
6:56: Minute's silence - Both teams pay respect to Jagmohan Dalmiya, who passed away on 20 September.
6:50: Teams - With such an array of stars in both the teams, quality cricket is expected from the two heavyweights of world cricket.
6:42: Sreenath Aravind, who has been handed T20I debut, will be eager to make an impression against the strong looking SA batting line up.
6:38pm: Toss time as the special minted coin goes up in the air.
SA captain, Faf Du Plessis wins the toss, asks India to bat first. Both the captains wanted to bowl first keeping in mind the dew factor in the second innings. SA with the advantage??
6:18pm: Graeme Smith and Sunil Gavaskar with pitch report
Gavaskar believes there is plenty of runs in the wicket despite some grass present in the 22 yard strip. Smith was relatively surprised with the grass on the pitch, which should encourage the seamers. Dew expected later on.
6:10pm: Though, India, who are always a strong side at home, may be considered as favourite, one cannot turn a blind eye to the number of South African players, who have been a regular feature in the IPL. Players such as AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir know these conditions very well, so it is not going to an easy outing for the Indians.
India, to a large extent, are going to depend on the services of Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni amongst others to help India take 1-0 lead. If these players get going the crowd in Dharamsala shall go into a frenzy.
5:45pm: More than an hour to go for the first T20 match of the series, let's watch what one of the most famous Indian commentators, Harsha Bhogle, has to say regarding the mega series. Bhogle posted the video (below) on Twitter a few hours ago.
We'll bring you all the chills and thrills from the first T20 match between India and South Africa in Dharamsala. The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Stadium in Dharamsala is one of the most beautiful cricket stadiums in the world, which offers a magnificient view of the mountains from the field itself.
It is a perfect marriage between nature and cricket in Dharamsala.
Today's game promises to be a humdinger of a contest. India, who are one of the strongest teams while playing at home, face South Africa, who are a good team on the road. Hence, a huge battle of the world cricket heavyweights is at store for the viewers all around the world.
A high-scoring game is on the cards with the number of high-profile batsmen on both the camps. AB de Villiers, JP Duminy Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are, meanwhile, gearing up for the game, which starts in the next 90 minutes or so.
Stay tuned to this page for an entertaining live blog coverage on how the first of the three-match T20 series shapes up in Dharamsala.