India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar continued his brilliance in the ongoing tour of South Africa. The 28-year-old claimed his maiden T20I five-wicket haul in the first Twenty-20 against South Africa in Johannesburg as the Men in Blue won the match by 28 runs.
With this stunning bowling figures (4-0-24-5), Bhuvi became the first Indian bowler to take five-wicket haul across all three formats. South Africa’s top 3 comprising of JJ Smuts, Reeza Hendricks and JP Duminy became Kumar’s victim before he dismissed two more in the form of wicketkeeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen and all-rounder Chris Morris.
It is worth mentioning here that Bhuvneshwar was Player of the Match for his awe-inspiring all-round show in the recently held Wanderers Test – India’s only Test victory on this South Africa tour.
Earlier in the day, South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl first. Owing to Shikhar Dhawan’s 39-ball 72 and a couple cameos from other batsmen India posted a stiff target of 204 for the Proteas.
In reply, South African batsmen never looked at ease as they lost wickets at regular interval. Opening batsman Reeza Hendricks was the stand out batsman for the home team as he made a 50-ball 70, including 8 boundaries and a six.
Owing to Bhuvneshwar’s herculean effort, South Africa could manage 175 for 9 in their quota of 20 overs and consequently conceded a 1-0 lead to the visitors in a three-match T20I series.
Seeing yet another Bhuvi master class in the death overs, the Twitterverse went berserk in praise of the Indian pace spearhead. While Proteas pace legend Dale Steyn lauded Kumar’s skills, former India opener Aakash Chopra termed him as the biggest difference between the two sides.
Here are some of the tweets:
Never seen Bhuvi bowl that before, great skill! Wow— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) February 18, 2018
5 for, What a terrific spell from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. How good Kohli has been, has under shadowed the tremendous season Bhuvi has. #SAvsIND— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) February 18, 2018
Congratulations India on another clinical victory. Brilliant innings from Shikhar and another wonderful spell from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, a five wicket haul. #SAvsIND— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 18, 2018
BHUVNESHWAR....as usual, it’s a bowler who makes the difference in a high-scoring game. ???????????? #SAvIND— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 18, 2018
Love watching Bhuvneshwar in these situations. Very clever.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 18, 2018