India vs South Africa, 2nd T20I, Top Performances: Suryakumar Yadav's 61 off 22, Rohit Sharma-Lokesh Rahul's 96 off 59 and David Miller-Quinton de Kock's 174-run stand are top three performances. India beat South Africa by 16 run and win 1st home T20I series.
Brief Scores: India 237/3 (Suryakumar Yadav 61, KL Rahul 57, Maharaj 2-23) beat South Africa 221/3 (David Miller 106*, Quinton de Kock 69*) by 16 runs
Player of the Match: KL Rahul - 57 (28)
Hosts India locked horns with South Africa in the 2nd T20I at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati after winning the tour opener comfortably by 8 wickets in Thiruvananthapuram. In what was a run feast at the venue located in the north-eastern state of India, the home team broke the jinx of not winning a T20I series against the Proteas at home by clinching the game by 16 runs, but not in a convincing fashion. It has to be noted that all the previous outings ended in a draw or with a South African win.
The major talking point has to be the form of India’s batters, particularly the top 4. All of them, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav scored 40+ runs in Guwahati; the team management will be specially pleased with Rahul’s knock.
One may argue that the pitch was flat, but it is a great sign for the team as these batters are peaking at the right time together just before the World Cup. They are looking arguably one of the strongest batting line-ups in the mega event.
On the contrary, India have plenty of problems when it comes to the bowling department. Defending 237, India almost made a mess of it by allowing South Africa to score 221, courtesy of some indisciplined bowling. Arshdeep Singh gave 62 runs in his 4 overs, while Harshal Patel is yet to find his groove post his return after recovering from an injury. With Jasprit Bumrah likely to be absent for the World Cup, India’s bowling attack needs to find answers and find them quickly.
India overcome David Miller assault to take unassailable 2-0 lead in the T20I series
Coming to the game, visiting skipper Temba Bavuma won the toss and expectedly opted to field first on a humid evening in Guwahati. India’s openers came with a notion to attack from ball 1 in the powerplay and succeeded in doing so, scoring 57 runs in the first 6 overs. KL Rahul who played a scratchy knock of 51* from 56 balls in Thiruvananthapuram (one of the slowest fifties for India in T20Is), was in top form in this game and made his 2nd consecutive 50+ score, this time off just 24 balls. Though Rohit played an uncharacteristic knock at the other end, both combined to give India a great start with their opening stand of 96 runs in 59 balls.
Keshav Maharaj accounted for both openers in back-to-back overs, but then it was the Suryakumar Yadav show. He put on a spectacle along with Virat Kohli and the duo shared a 102-run partnership and it came off just 40 deliveries. Surya was unfortunately run out for a brilliant 61 off 22 balls, while Kohli remained unbeaten on 49 as India made a whopping 237/3, their 3rd highest T20I total.
Chasing a mammoth 238 to level the series, the Proteas got off to the worst possible start losing their skipper Temba Bavuma and dangerous Rilee Rossouw for respective ducks. Arshdeep Singh accounted for both in the same over and it put the visitors on the back foot. In the first 6 overs, they made 47 but at the cost of 2 wickets. Markram who looked great for his 19-ball 33 was castled by Axar Patel.
And then came the monumental 174* run stand between the two left-handers, David Miller (106*) and Quinton de Kock (69*) who almost did the impossible. At the halfway mark, the visitors were 70/3, still needing 167 runs to post an unlikely win. But the pair kept the team in the hunt till the final over and eventually they fell short by just 16 runs.
Let’s analyse the top three performances from the 2nd T20I between India and South Africa.
Suryakumar Yadav continues to make merry in this format with an extraordinary 61 off 22 balls
Suryakumar Yadav has been a shining star for India in the shortest format of the game this year and he continued his splendid form in this game as well. Recently elevated to number 2 in ICC T20I rankings, Surya carried from where he left off in the 1st T20I. He played all around the park like he usually does and was severe on all South Africa pacers.
Surya eventually got to his 9th half-century in just 18 balls, making him the 2nd fastest Indian to do so. Over the course of his 61 which included 5 fours and as many sixes, the right-hander crossed the 1000-run mark in T20Is off just 573 deliveries, making him the fastest to do so in terms of number of deliveries. Surya’s blazing knock enabled India to reach 237/3 in their 20 overs and it proved just about enough for the home team get through with a win.
David Miller’s brilliant century and his unbeaten 174-run stand with Quinton de Kock went in vain
South Africa were tottering at 47/3 in the 7th over when David Miller (106* from 47) joined Quinton de Kock at the crease in their pursuit of a daunting 238-run target. Just when one thought that India would run through the middle-order and make easy work of the defence, the pair had other ideas.
They initially protected their wicket and played according to the merit getting to their 50-run stand in 33 balls. Miller was particularly aggressive, and the momentum started to shift when he attacked Ravichandran Ashwin for two sixes and a four in the same over. He got to his half-century off just 25 deliveries.
Miller was then unstoppable as he took India’s bowlers, barring Deepak Chahar, to the cleaners. The left-hander made his next 50 runs in 21 balls as he brought up his 2nd T20I ton. De Kock (69* from 48) played a supporting role in this stupendous partnership (11th highest for any wicket in T20Is) and despite their herculean effort, the Proteas fell short by 16 runs.
India’s openers - Rohit and Rahul - gave India a rollicking start with 96-run stand
The major difference between both the sides in this game has to be the performance of their respective openers. India skipper Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul ensured India built the momentum to reach a solid score with the aid of their middle-order batters in the later overs. Rohit and Rahul played the initial overs cautiously, where there was swing on offer, and the openers made the best use of the fielding restrictions.
On the other hand, Bavuma failed to give South Africa a start after making a duck off 7 balls. In a run feast in Guwahati where over 450 runs were made, that subdued start by South Africa was indeed a major factor.
What’s to Come
The two sides now move to the central part of India to play the 3rd T20I of the series on October 4 at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.