Johannesburg, Feb 18: Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan once again unleashed mayhem in South Africa, with his 72 powering India to 203 for five wickets in the first Twenty-20 International (T20I) at the New Wanderers Stadium here on Sunday.
The Delhi left-hander, who hit 323 runs in the six One-Day Internationals (ODIs), blasted 10 fours and two sixes in his 39-ball innings as others batted around him.
After home captain Jean-Paul Duminy put India into bat, India's innings was lifted by a brisk 21 off nine from Rohit Sharma, who got out in the fifth delivery of the second over after edging to wicket-keeper Heinrich Klassen off debutant Junior Dala.
Dhawan's show began after this as he got useful support from Suresh Raina (15 off 7) and Virat Kohli (26 off 20). Till the dismissal of Kohli, who was ruled LBW against spinner Tabraiz Shamsi in the third delivery of the 10th over, India had already scored 108.
Dhawan made the most of the ill-disciplined bowling from Chris Morris, Dala and Andile Phehlukwayo, who were allowing the 32-year-old to free his arms on the leg side.
A failed scoop attempt of a slower delivery from Phehlukwayo ended Dhawan's innings as Klassen dived front to removed the danger.
Later, Manish Pandey (29 not out off 27), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (16) and Hardik Panya (13 not out) took India past the 200-run mark.
Brief scores: India: 203/5 (Shikhar Dhawan 72, Manish Pandey 29 not out; Junior Dala 2/47) vs South Africa.