India could not convert a flying start in the first 10 overs and finished with 179/5 in the first innings against South Africa at the  Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.

Openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan attacked the Protea seamers and spinners to put up 57 runs in the powerplay. Both of them scored half-centuries, the former’s maiden T20I fifty coming in 30 balls and the latter’s in 31. 

Also read: DRS down at Visakhapatnam briefly: India dominate play vs SA in 3rd T20I

The two stitched a 97-run opening stand before Gaikwad handed spinner Keshav Maharaj a diving catch off his own bowling in the 10th over. The 25-year-old scored 57 runs in 35 balls with the help of seven boundaries and two maximums. Kishan, on the other hand, made 54 off 35 before mistiming Pretorius for a catch at deep extra cover. 

The momentum was lost when Shreyas Iyer (14 off 11) and Ishan Kishan were dismissed in a span of five balls. Skipper Rishabh Pant was dismissed for six runs. India scored 15 runs, lost two wickets in a span of thee overs. 

Also read: 10.5 years later, Trent Boult beats Muttiah Muralitharan in unique batting feat

Hardik Pandya, who played a quick-fire innings in the first game, slogged at the end to keep India in the game, but the team could only manage 179. The Gujarat Titans skipper was unbeaten at 31 off 21 balls. Dinesh Karthik was dismissed on six runs off eight balls. 

A division of India’s innings showed that the hosts scored 126 runs at the loss of one wicket in the first 73 balls. The run rate was 10.35. The last 47 balls gave only 53 runs and the team lost four wickets in the duration. 

Also Read: With Gaikwad’s wicket, Kagiso Rabada reaches big T20I landmark

“I think it is kind of a tricky wicket to start with. Bit of extra bounce was there, the slower ones were holding. We have seen so far in this series… as the game has progressed it is getting better. It will get better but I think 180 is a good target. 10-15 runs short but I think we can bowl well on this wicket,” Gaikwad said after the innings. 

Brief Score: India 179 for 5 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 57, (Ishan Kishan 54; Dwaine Pretorius 2/29) vs SA.