Leher Reddy Challuri DP1
Beuran Hendricks, Bjorn Fortuin, and Quinton de Kock powered South Africa to victory by a mammoth 9 wickets, leveling the series 1-1 and sharing the PayTM India vs South Africa 2019 T20 Series trophy.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat to challenge themselves on a ground suited to chasing, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started with good intent, but the partnership did not last long as Sharma edged off for 9 in the 2nd over. Shikhar Dhawan then took on the spinners, but ultimately mistimed a shot straight up in the air, letting the midwicket fielder take the catch, departing for 36 in the 8th over. Soon after, Kohli went for a big shot off a good-length delivery, but was also caught, this time at deep midwicket for 9. Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer stabilised the innings for a brief period, but Pant was dismissed for 19, mistiming a ball up in the air, similar to Dhawan. Two more wickets fell in quick succession, with Shreyas Iyer being stumped for 5 and Krunal Pandya edging off for 4. At 98-6, India were in a troublesome situation.
Ravindra Jadeja started slowly, but played his shots soon after. Hardik Pandya also started finding his groove. The partnership did not last long, however, as Jadeja top-edged a delivery high in the air at 19, giving Kagiso Rabada a caught-and-bowled to his name in the 20th over. Washington Sundar hit one cheeky boundary over the keeper but was run out the very next ball. Pandya slogged the ball straight to cow corner for 14. The last pair ran a by to finish the innings at 134-9, a world record score for India to defend in T20s.
Tabraiz Shamsi and Bjorn Fortuin bowled well, recording figures of 1-23 off 4 overs and 2-19 off 3 overs respectively. Rabada ended up with 3 wickets, but went for 39 runs off his 4 overs, conceding most of those runs in the powerplay. The pick of the South African bowlers was Beuran Hendricks, recording great figures of 2-14 off 4 overs, picking up wickets and also being economical.
Quinton de Kock began the innings all guns blazing, hitting several boundaries to the on and off side. Reeza Hendricks quietly strolled along his way, hitting some boundaries occasionally. Virat Kohli reviewed a not out LBW decision against Hendricks, but the ball was sliding down the leg side. India appealed for an LBW against de Kock as well, and while he was adjudged not out on field, if India had their review, DRS would have adjudged him out. By the end of 10 overs, the pair was unscathed at 76-0. On the very first delivery of the 11th over, however, the partnership ended, with Hendricks top-edging a pull shot to midwicket.
Temba Bavuma kept rotating the strike and giving the strike to de Kock, who swung harder as South Africa got closer to the target, also getting to a magnificent fifty in the process and finishing the innings 79*. Bavuma finished the game with a pull shot that went for six, capping off the series.
Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, and Ravindra Jadeja recorded economical figures of 0-27 off 4 overs, 0-15 off 3 overs, and 0-8 off 2 overs. Hardik Pandya picked up the only wicket of the innings, but went for 23 runs off his 2 overs. Navdeep Saini and Krunal Pandya were also very expensive, going for 25 runs off 2 overs and 40 runs off 3.5 overs respectively. This bowling display was a far cry from India’s display in the previous game.
With the series drawn, we have a lot to look forward to from the test series. South Africa has been in turmoil ever since the retirement of AB de Villiers from tests, and they are still trying to figure out their ideal team. How will they fare against a strong Indian side? Join us on The Sreenidhian for daily coverage from the 2nd to the 6th of October for the first test between these cricketing giants!