India vs South Africa 2nd T20I | Klassen, Duminy help hosts level series 1-1

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India vs South Africa 2nd T20I | Klassen, Duminy help hosts level series 1-1

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SportsCafe Desk


South Africa levelled the three-game T20I series winning the game by six wickets banking on Heinrich Klaasen and JP Duminy’s heroics in the middle overs after a poor start. Earlier, India had posted a target of 189 runs as MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey both scored fifties after an early collapse.

Brief Scores : India 188/4 (Manish Pandey 79*, MS Dhoni 52*; Junior Dala 2/28, JP Duminy 1/13) beat South Africa 189/4 (Heinrich Klassen 69, JP Duminy 64*; Jaydev Unadkat 2/42, Shardul Thakur 1/31) by 6 wickets.

With the women’s game, at the same venue, already abandoned due to rain, JP Duminy opted to field first, admitting the fact that batting would have been the better option. Virat Kohli came into the game without Jasprit Bumrah, who had played every game for India so far and it was an inexperienced Shardul Thakur replacing him.

India fail to replicate strong start after top-order collapse

It was the last chance for South Africa to level the series and their body language reflected it. Shikhar Dhawan was adjudged LBW on the very first ball of the game and although it was reversed after review, the hosts looked dangerous for the first time since the limited overs series started. While Dhawan was narrowly saved, Rohit Sharma couldn’t escape Junio Dala’s good length ball and was sent to the pavillion on the first ball of the second over. India had started slow as compared to their blazing powerplay innings of the opening game, and to get to a competitive score, the visitors knew that they needed to step up. Suresh Raina and Dhawan accelerated the run rate by hitting 28 runs in the next two overs, but, India lost both Dhawan and Kohli soon in the next four overs and could only manage 45/3 by the end of the powerplay. Kohli’s wicket had calmed the urgency among Indian batsmen to score runs, but after scoring just 13 runs in two overs, Manish Pandey took charge of the situation. He hit Tabraiz Shamsi for two sixes and a boundary in the ninth over as India reached the halfway line with 85/3 on the board. 

Dhoni and Pandey take India to a competitive total

Calamity struck in the eleventh over again as Andile Phehlukwayo took Raina’s wicket on the fourth ball after the southpaw hit him for a boundary. With MS Dhoni coming to the fore and taking his time to settle down, Pandey led the charge as he hit two consecutive boundaries off Dala to bring up India’s 100-run stand in the 13th over. He then went on to bring up his fifty in the 15th over with India at 124/4, as the duo kept exchanging doubles and singles at regular intervals. India had to change gears fast and the visitors were well capable of doing it with two pinch hitters at the crease. Both Dhoni and Pandey added an impressive 43 runs in the next four overs as India were reached 170/4 with one over to go. With 200 looking increasingly unlikely, Dhoni stepped up his game and went after Paterson and managed to add 18 runs, which not only helped bring up his fifty but also ensured that India reached a par score of 188/4.

Duminy, Klaasen take stand after early collapse

With India lacking the services of Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah in their bowling arsenal, Kohli knew that defending 189 runs would be a tricky task in Centurion. However, Shardul Thakur, alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar, provided a good start in the second innings limiting South Africa to just four runs in the first two overs. Reeza Hendricks started to take on Bhuvneshwar and Jaydev Unadkat from there as he hit four boundaries in the next eight balls before Smuts was caught by Raina on the fifth ball of the fourth over, reducing South Africa to 24/1 in the fourth over. However, it didn’t stop the incoming JP Duminy and Hendricks from wielding their wood as they added 14 runs in the next over, which ended with Thakur taking Hendricks’ wicket. Heinrich Klaasen came in next and hit two sixes in the last powerplay over to take the scoreboard to 54/2, which was the DLS par score. With the fielding restrictions taken up both the batsmen kept it calculative, hitting at least one boundary an over and keeping the singles and doubles consistent. South Africa reached the halfway line at 84/2 with the game very much in balance. 

Chahal turns villain as India lose by six wickets 

Klaasen started the second half in a rampaging manner as he hit Yuzvendra Chahal for two sixes as the Proteas brought up their 100-run stand in the 11th over. After Pandya brought some restraint in the next over giving just eight overs that included Klaasen’s 22 ball 50, Chahal was hit for a whopping 23 runs by Klaasen as South Africa pulled closer the target to 58 runs in the last seven overs. However, Unadkat brought an end to the onslaught by taking out Klaasen in the next over and Pandya dismissing David Miller in the over later as South Africa could add only 11 runs in the next two overs. However, just as the game looked to be going in India’s favour, Kohli made the biggest blunder of the game by giving the ball to Chahal again. The wrist spinner, who took five wickets in the second ODI, got hit fo 14 runs this time conceding as many as 64 runs in four overs. The outcome was more or less known by then and though Bhuvneshwar and Thakur did their best to control the run rate, the hosts had a clear sniff of a victory. And it was clearly reflected as Duminy finished off the game with two huge sixes off Unadkat with six wickets to spare. Both the sides will now fight it out in the series final at Newlands. 

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