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David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen Guide South Africa to 249/4 Against India

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David Miller (75*) and Heinrich Klaasen (74*) counter-attacked the Indian bowlers to guide South Africa to a formidable score of 249/4 in a rain-affected 40-over-a-side affair at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow. It was another disappointing day for India in the fielding departments as they dropped catches at crucial stages of the game which allow the Proteas batters to post a challenging total in the series-opener.

Miller and Klaasen shared an unbeaten 139-run stand as the Indian fielders let the bowlers down after dropping catches of both batters. The two batters played with a calm and composed approach at the start to get settled in the middle and later attack the Indian bowlers in the death overs.

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Miller, who scored a century in the second T20I, continued his purple patch with the bat as his 63-ball knock was laced with five fours and three sixes. While Klaasen struck six fours and a couple of sixes to match the beats with Miller.

Earlier, India skipper Shikhar Dhawan won the toss and elected to bowl first against South Africa in the rain-affected match which was reduced to 40 overs per side. Dhawan took the call looking at the weather as the pacers got some swing with the new ball with clouds on their head.

Shardul Thakur dismissed South Africa opener Janneman Malan to break the crucial opening stand. Malan and Quinton de Kock put up a 49-run stand to give the visitors a solid start, however, Shardul with a change of pacer got the better of the right-hander to dismiss him on 22.

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Thakur also got the better of the South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma with a peach of delivery as he was dismissed for just 8. South Africa also lost the wickets of De Kock (48) and Aiden Makram (0) in quick succession.

It was the last ball of 16th over, Kuldeep pitched it a tad full and it drifted across the right-hander and spun back in sharply as Makram failed to get anything on the bat and got castled. The ball went through the big gap between his bat and the pad to hit the top of the off-stump.

While, Ravi Bishnoi, in his debut match, dismissed wicketkeeper batter De Kock when he was looking dangerous with the bat. The southpaw attempted a reverse sweep but failed to connect and was trapped in front of wicket.

Shardul was the pick of the bowlers for India with two wickets, while Mohammed Siraj and Avesh Khan remained wicketless.

Brief Scores:

South Africa: 249 for 4 in 40 overs (Heinrich Klaasen 74 not out, David Miller 75 not out, Quinton de Kock 48; Shardul Thakur 2/35).

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