David Miller’s explosive ton went in vain as Indian bowlers hold their nerve to clinch the T20I series 2-0 after 16 run victory in the second T20I against South Africa at Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati on Sunday. With the win, Team India took an unassailable lead 2-0 over South Africa. For South Africa, Miller slammed an unbeaten 106 in 47 balls while Quinton de Kock played a knock of not out 69 off 48. For India Arshdeep Singh bagged two wickets while Axar Patel settled for one wicket.
Defending the target of 238, India’s Arshdeep Singh dented South Africa’s chase by bagging the wickets of Temba Bavuma and Rilee Rossouw in one over.
Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock then played some careful shots while taking singles to ease some pressure from the team. Axar Patel then gave Proteas a big blow as he dismissed well-set batter Markram for 33 off 19 balls. South Africa lost important three wickets in under eight overs.
Markram’s wicket invited David Miller to the crease. Miller with de Kock found quick boundaries while taking singles at regular intervals. After 10 over of the match, South Africa’s score read 70-3.
With huge pressure on his head, Miller shifted gears and slammed Ravichandran Ashwin for back-to-back two sixes and gathered 19 runs alone in the 12th over of the innings.
While smashing Indian bowlers all around the ground Miller brought up his half-century in 25 balls with a huge six off Arshdeep. De Kock also shifted gears and slammed back-to-back two sixes in Axar’s over and piled up 18 runs.
After 15 overs South Africa needed 95 runs in 30 balls. In the 16th over of the match, Miller slammed Harshal for two successive fours and gathered 13 runs.
Quinton de Kock also brought up his half-century in 39 balls. It was a hard-fought innings by Quinton as he anchored a much-needed great partnership between him and Miller.
De Kock started the 18th over of the match with a stunning six, however, the latter could not do much as Harshal delivered the spell with great line and length and restricted Proteas batters to score runs in his over.
In the 19th over of the innings, the duo of De Kock and Miller hammered Arshdeep for 26 runs by slamming big shots. In the last over of the match, Miller brought up his blistering century in 46 balls. On the last ball of the match, Miller slammed a huge six but failed to guide his team home by 16 runs in the massive run chase.
The explosive Proteas duo failed to take their team home in the massive run chase and handed India a T20I series win.
Earlier put to bat first, India posted a daunting total of 237/3 with the help of stunning half-centuries from Suraykumar Yadav and KL Rahul. Suraykumar slammed 61 runs in 22 balls, while Rahul played a knock of 57 off 28. Virat Kohli looked in red-hot form as he slammed unbeaten 49 runs off 28 balls.
KL Rahul picked up from where he left off in the last game and caressed a superbly timed boundary on the very first ball of the innings off Kagiso Rabada, opening the Indian scoreboard with four runs.
The Indian captain helped himself with two boundaries in the next over bowled by Wayne Parnell as the Indian innings started to gain momentum. Sharma danced down the track to pacer Lungi Ngidi in the next over to smash the first six of the innings.
Parnell came back for his second over of the innings but was taken to the cleaners by the Indian openers as both the batsmen combined to smash six and two boundaries of the over to accumulate 15 runs from the over.
The Indian duo looked in no mood to relax and made full use of the fielding restrictions, hitting boundaries every now and then.
India ended the powerplay with 57 runs without any loss of wicket. Rohit Sharma made 29 (25) while KL Rahul ended with 25(11) from the first six overs.
Both the opening batters continued the onslaught taking apart the South African bowlers and stitched together a 96-run partnership before the Indian captain was dismissed by Keshav Maharaj in the 10th over of the inning.
India was at 96/1 after completing half the quota of overs with KL Rahul scoring 48 off just 22 deliveries while Virat Kohli still to open his account having faced just one ball.
Rahul brought up his half-century with a handsome six, hitting a clean strike down the ground of Markram in the 11th over. However, the batter was found in front of the stumps the very next over. Maharaj picked up his second wicket of the match and dismissed Rahul for a well-made 57 off 28 balls which included five boundaries and four towering sixes.
The wicket of Rahul brought in the in-form Suryakumar Yadav who needed no invitation to go ballistic right from the word go. Yadav swept his third ball for a four and made his intentions very clear.
Kohli and Yadav made great use of the superb platform set by the Indian openers as the duo kept scoring at a quick rate.
Rabada came onto the bowl the 15th over and faced the fury of Suryakumar’s bat as the Indian absolutely decimated the pacer, hitting him for two sixes and two fours, clinching 22 runs off the over.
Suryakumar carried on the mayhem as he smashed two more sixes to bring up his fifty off just 18 balls in the 17th over.
Kohli who had been playing second fiddle until now also joined the party and smashed three boundaries in quick succession.
The crowd was witnessing an absolute mockery of the South African bowling but it came to a minute halt after Suryakumar was run out at the beginning of the 19th over, ending his blazing knock. Suryakumar smashed 61 off 22 balls with the help of five boundaries and five sixes.
Kohli carried finding boundaries and struck two more to take 10 runs off the 19th over.
Dinesh Karthik took the crease in the final over, a situation that was absolutely tailor-made for the batsman. Karthik bludgeoned two sixes and a four in the final over to snatch 18 runs and take India to a massive score of 237/3.
Kohli missed yet another 50-plus score as he ended with 49 off 28 balls.
Brief Score: India 237/3 (Surayakumar Yadav 61, KL Rahul 57; Keshav Maharaj 2-23) beat South Africa 221/3 (David Miller 106*, Quinton de Kock 69*; Arshdeep Singh 2-62) by 16 runs.
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