WATCH: Hardik Pandya surprisingly denies single to Dinesh Karthik in 20th at 1st T20I Ind-SA

South Africa pulled off a stunning 212-run chase to beat India by seven wickets in the first T20I of the five-match series at New Delhi’s Arun Jaitely Stadium on Thursday (June 9th). It was a brilliant batting performance for the Proteas, who rode off David Miller’s unbeaten 64 on 31 balls and Rassie van der Dussen’s 75 on 46 balls to chase 212 runs with 5 balls to spare and give the visitors a lead of 1-0. in the series.

Despite missing players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and KL Rahul, India named a strong XI under captain Rishabh Pant for the series opener. Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad gave the team a bright start with a stand of 57 runs for the first wicket before Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya all made crucial contributions to propel India to 211 runs.

Although it was an excellent batting effort from the Indian team with Kishan playing a remarkable 48-ball 76, Hardik’s actions in the final innings left many perplexed on the networks. social. Hardik, who was batting with Dinesh Karthik at the 20th over, surprisingly denied the wicket-keeper batter a single on the penultimate ball of the final over.

Facing Anrich Nortje in the 20th, Hardik guided a full Nortje delivery to the middle of the deep wicket on ball 5. A single was readily available but Hardik decided not to take it, leaving Karthik seemingly downcast on the other end. The incident quickly became a major talking point on social media, with fans bashing Hardik for the decision.

Read also : Miller and Van der Dussen prevent India from reaching world record, SA wins 1st T20I by 7 wickets

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Both Karthik and Hardik have made their return to the Indian team after impressing in the recently concluded IPL 2022. While Hardik was the top run-getter for his team Gujarat Titans, Karthik took the season by storm with his finishing exploits for RCB. Both strikers will battle for the Indian side’s finisher role ahead of the T20 World Cup next year.

Read also : ‘He can lead Indian team in future’ – Harbhajan Singh praises Hardik Pandya’s leadership

While Hardik spent a long time on the sidelines recovering from a back injury following the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2021 last year, Karthik had last played for India at the Cup. World Cup in 2019. After losing the opener by seven wickets, India will be hoping to bounce back when they face South Africa in the second T20I of the series on Sunday June 12.

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Post expires at 1:54pm on Monday June 20th, 2022