Mumbai, March 12 (IANS) Star batsmen Jean-Paul Duminy and Quinton de Kock struck fluent half-centuries as South Africa registered a nail-biting, four run victory against India in the warm-up match ahead of the World Twenty20 cricket tournament at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.
Batting first, South Africa posted 196/8 in 20 overs, thanks to Duminy's 67 and Quinton de Kock's 56.
In reply, despite Shikhar Dhawan's 73 retired not out and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 16-ball 30 in the end, India fell short of the target as they could manage only 192/3 in 20 overs.
Pacers Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott and leg-spinner Imran Tahir claimed one wicket each for South Africa.
Chasing a challenging target of 197, India star opener Rohit Sharma (10) was given leg before wicket in the third ball off the second over itself off the bowling off Kyle Abbott.
In the very first ball of the next over, the hosts received double blow when Virat Kohli edged one to wicket-keeper de Kock off the bowling off Dale Steyn to have India struggling at 16/2.
Dhawan on the other end looked in good touch as he kept on striking boundaries to not let the required run rate climb too high.
Ajinkya Rahane (11) who came in for Kohli was looking good but he too departed after being clean bowled off a googly by leg-spinner Tahir and India were reduced to 48/3 in seventh over.
But incoming batsman Suresh Raina (41 retired not out) gave good company to Dhawan as the duo gathered crucial 94-run partnership for the fourth wicket before both decided to retire not out.
Dhoni (30 not out) and Yuvraj Singh (16 not out) tried their best with a cameo innings at the end but failed to take end over the line.
Earlier opting to bat, South Africa got off to a disappointing start losing opener Hashim Amla (5) in the third over itself. But the fall of wicket didn't worry his opening partner de Kock (56 retired not out) as the left-handed batsman scored at a good pace to take the pressure away from the team.
But incoming batsman and skipper Faf du Plessis (12) after hitting three boundaries was caught by Ravindra Jadeja at point off the bowling off Mohammad Shami to have the Proteas at 33/2 in 3.5 overs.
But from there on it was entirely a de Kock and Duminy show as the duo piled on some quickfire runs to score 50-run partnership for the third wicket in just 25 balls.
The duo brought up team's 100 in just 10.5 overs.
But in the 12th over after guiding his team to a good position with seven fours and two sixes, de Kock was retired not out.
Duminy took the initiative then to cause a late assault as he brought up his fifty, striking five fours and three sixes to take team's score past 150-run mark.
Next up, David Miller (18), Rilee Rossouw (11) and Chris Morris (14) got good start but their innings was cut short by Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah.
Pandya (3-36), Shami (2-37) and Bumrah (2-51) were the pick of the bowlers for India.
Brief scores: South Africa 196/8 in 20 overs (J.P. (IANS)