Samson’s knock went in vain as India lost the first ODI by 9 runs against South Africa

India lost the series opener fighting against South Africa at Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow. Chasing a reachable target of 250, Sanju Samson played a blistering knock of an unbeaten 86 and Shreyas Iyer hit a 37-ball 50, but Men in blue fell short by 9 runs at the end. Earlier, the match was reduced to 40 overs after rain delayed the start of the play.

Batting first, Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock gave the visitors a steady start. Shardul Thakur gave the initial breakthrough by dismissing Malan for 22. South African skipper Temba Bavuma (8) and Aiden Markram (0) did not last long and departed in consecutive overs.

A few moments later, Ravi Bishnoi trapped De Kock LBW on 48. Klaasen and David Miller played anchoring innings and hit half-centuries at a good strike rate. Klaasen and Miller remained unbeaten on 74 and 75 to help South Africa to post a defendable total of 249/4 in 40 overs.

In reply, India started on a slow note as Kagiso Rabada bowled out Shubman Gill on 3 and Wayne Parnell scalped Shikhar Dhawan on 4. Ruturaj Gaikwad, who struggled to score runs, was stumped on 19. However, Iyer initially led India’s fightback before getting out to Lungi Ngidi.

Samson then took over and stitched a crucial partnership with Thakur, who chipped in with 33-runs. But Ngidi struck twice in the 38th over and shifted the momentum back in South Africa’s favor. The Proteas’ bowlers held their nerves to clinch a thrilling victory.