Mohali, Sep 18 : Playing his strokes flawlessly, Indian captain Virat Kohli steered India to a well-merited seven-wicket victory against South Africa in the second T20 match in the three-match series at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, here on Wednesday night.
With this win, India took a 1-0 advantage after the first match at Dharamsala (HP) was abandoned due to inclement weather.
India scored 151 for 3 in 19 overs in reply to South Africa's total of 149 for 5 in 20 overs. Virat Kohli, in the company of opener Shikhar Dhawan (40) stitched a 61-run valuable partnership for the second wicket.
Later, Kohli and Iyer steered their team to victory. Virat slammed unbeaten 72 runs from 52 balls. He hit four fours and three brilliant sixes.
Set to a victory target of 150 runs, Indian openers - left hander Shikhar Dhawan and right hander Rohit Sharma, faced the South African fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortge.
Rohit looked aggressive, as in the second over bowled by Nortje, the Indian opener lifted Nortje for two sixes over square leg boundary, despite Nortje bowled at 145 kph. In the next over bowled by Rabada, Dhawan dispatched the SA fast bowler for two successive fours.
South Africa made their first break through as Andile Phehlukwayo, sending his first over, trapped Rohit Sharma leg before wicket. Sharma made 12 from 12 balls before returning to the pavilion. India lost their first wicket at 33 in 3.5 overs.
Indian captain Vikrat Kohli walked to the wicket to join Dhawan. Kohli survived a 'caught behind' issue. The visitors were looking for caught behind as wicket keeper Kock threw himself to his left to hold the ball. There was a close shout for lbw decision too. Replayed suggested that the sound from the pad.
South Africa missed an opportunity to get the second Indian wicket. Pretorius bowled to Kohli who came down the track and the ball rolled down off his bat. The batsmen went for the dangerous run. Pretorius picked up the ball on his follow through.
However, his under-arm through missed the stumps. Had the ball hit the wickets, Dhawan was certainly not in a position to reach the crease.
At the end of 10th over, India were 79 for 1, needing 71 more runs from 60 balls, to achieve the victory target.
An extraordinary one-handed catch by David Miller at long on led to the dismissal of Dhawan, who played a powerful straight drive from Shamsi.
However, David Miller made a superb catch as he dived full length to his right to hold right hand catch. Dhawan made 40 from 31 balls he faced. His innings was studded with four boundaries and one soaring six.
This second wicket partnership of 61 runs between Kohli and Dhawan helped India to reach 92 for 2 in 11.4 overs.
Now, left-handed Rishabh Pant was in the company for his captain. Pant (4) could not survive. Bjorn Fortuin got his wicket on debut. Pant hit Fortuin on the leg side where Shamsi had to problem in accepting the catch. Pant made just one run and India were 105 for 3.
Shreyas Iyer replaced Pant. With Iyer, Kohli was the dominant batsman. They carried the total to 151 for 3 in 19 overs) for the victory.
Rohit Sharma lbw Phehlukwayo 12
Shikhar Dhawan c David Miller b Shamsi 40
Virat Kohli not out 72
Rishabh Pant c Shamsi b Fortuin 4
Shreyas Iyer not out 16
Extras (lb 2, w 5) 7
Total (for three wickets, in 19 overs) 151
Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-94,3-104
Kagiso Rabada 3-0-24-0
Anrich Nortje 3-0-27-0
Andile Phehlukwayo 3-0- 20-1
Dwaine Pretorius 3-0-27-0
Tabraiz Shamshi 3-0-19-1
Bjorn Fortuin 4-0-32-1.