JP Duminy played a captain’s knock (64*) enabling South Africa beat India by 6 wickets to level the three-match T20I series on Wednesday at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. Aided by Heinrich Klaasen’s brilliant 69 runs, Duminy ensured the hosts crossed the finishing line against India. Indian bowlers were expensive throughout especially Yuzvendra Chahal who had a forgettable night. He ended with figures of 1/64 in 4 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who bowled three overs without taking a wicket, was the only economical bowler in the Indian team. (Scorecard)
Earlier, Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni hit fifties to power India to 188/4 in their 20 overs in the second T20I against South Africa at the SuperSport Park. India hit 103 runs in the last 10 overs to help then visitors set a competitive total.Pandey (79*) played a powerful knock to help India recover from an early jolt when they lost three quick wickets in the first 6 overs. Rohit Sharma was dismissed LBW by Junior Dala in the first delivery. Shikhar Dhawan followed next after a quickfire 24 runs. India skipper Virat Kohli could not continue his fine form and was dismissed for a single run. Suresh Raina chipped in with 30 runs to stabilise the Indian innings in the middle overs before getting dismissed off Andile Phehlukwayo’s delivery in the 11th over.
It was after that Dhoni and Pandey wreaked havoc with boundaries and sixes. Pandey hit six fours and three sixes while Dhoni hammered 4 fours and three sixes. Junior Dala was the only economical bowler for the hosts as he finished his four overs with figures of 2/28. Chris Morris, Dane Paterson and Tabraiz Shamsi went for runs as they were at the receiving end of Dhoni and Pandey’s deadly hitting.
Rain wasn’t necessarily a help to South Africa in the ODI win in Johannesburg – 202 in 28 overs was surely a more difficult chase than 290 in 50 – but it dulled the threat of India’s wristspinners; Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav struggled to grip an often wet ball and went for a combined 119 in 11.3 overs. Now Chahal, playing as the lone specialist spinner, endured another difficult night, going for 64 – the most by an India bowler in a T20I – in his four overs.
A steady drizzle backdropped the early part of South Africa’s chase of 189. It never grew heavy enough to halt play, but it was persistent, and ensured Duckworth-Lewis calculations were always at the back of both teams’ minds. This was probably what prompted South Africa to promote Klaasen to No. 4, sending him in at a time when they needed 151 in 90 balls.
South Africa were also nine runs behind the Duckworth-Lewis par score at that stage, for two wickets down, and Klaasen swiftly began to rectify that situation, pulling Unadkat for two sixes in the sixth over, and launching Chahal for another over long-on in the eighth over. That took care of the par score, and staying in touch with it meant South Africa’s chase was also on track.
At the end of the 10th over, South Africa’s run rate was just under nine an over, and their required rate just over ten. Klaasen brought the two numbers into close proximity off the first ball of the eleventh over, lofting Chahal over extra-cover for six, and followed up three balls later with the shot of the match, a switch-hit six over point. By that stage Klaasen had hit five sixes and just one four