South Africa win by 7 wickets and take an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three match series.
Brief Scores: India 287/6 (Pant 84, Rahul 51, Shamsi 2/57, Markram 1/34) lost to South Africa 288/3 (Malan 91, De Kock 78, Thakur 1/35, Bumrah 1/37 by seven wickets
India lost another series in South Africa because they couldn’t give any all-around performance. Contributions from KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur weren’t enough as the bowlers didn’t do the job for the second time for the tourists. South Africa won the game by 7 wickets and the series by a margin of 2-0 with one game still to go.
Dhawan and KL Rahul again started well for India
India won the toss and opted to bat first in this match. They didn’t make any changes to the side despite losing the previous encounter. South Africa on the other hand, made one change. They rested left-arm seamer Marco Jansen and right-arm fast medium bowler Sisanda Magala replaced him.
India got off a bright start just like they did in the first ODI on Wednesday. The Indian openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Rahul, continued from where they left a few days ago at Boland Park. In the first match, Rahul and Dhawan added 46 runs for the first wicket and in the second match, the openers added 63 runs for the opening wicket.
Dhawan looked in good touch as he carried his innings nicely and skipper Rahul played the role of a second fiddle batter as the former turned out as the aggressor in this opening stand. India started well and the South African fielders also helped the visitors to do so. Rahul was saved by Aiden Markram who dropped him off Andile Phelukwayo’s bowling.
Dhawan played well in the last ODI and here too. But in both the innings, Gabbar failed to convert his start. It was the 11th over when Dhawan was out to Aiden Markram, who again came good as the part-time bowler of choice for South Africa.
Markram was on the mark to break this threatening stand of 63 runs. He picked up Dhawan for 29 runs and after that, the hosts had a big breakthrough in the form of former India captain Virat Kohli. Keshav Maharaj did the trick and foxed the King for a duck. Kohli played five deliveries but he couldn’t get off the mark.
Pant and Rahul’s 115-run partnership
Maharaj put the pressure back on the tourists and brought his team back on top. When Pant walked in to bat, Maharaj tried to create more pressure on the flamboyant wicketkeeper batter. The first few balls didn’t give Pant the desired results as he came into the crease under pressure after India had lost Kohli.
Pant also survived a chance while he was setting the tone of the innings. He was mainly saved because Keshav Maharaj couldn’t collect the ball neatly, otherwise, it would have been a showdown for the keeper batter of India. But later on, Pant stitched a partnership and revived the men in blue from this situation.
Rahul also got into his groove and made the most of the dropped chance. The skipper and wicketkeeper shared a much-needed partnership that kept India in the game. Pant and Rahul also brought their respective half-centuries as things look good for Team India in the second ODI before the drinks break.
Bowlers brought South Africa back in the match
India had done well until the drinks break as Rahul and Pant looked set on the crease. But things turned South Africa’s way after the break. India’s batters had a shift in concentration and that was the opening for the Proteas to bounce back in the game.
The opening stand and Pant-Rahul’s partnership gave India the hope of reaching a total above 300 runs.
But Rahul was the first one to fall after the drinks break and the middle-order didn’t do well again. Magala broke the 114-run stand when Rahul was out for 55 runs. Pant who was eyeing his maiden ODI hundred was also out in the next over as these two wickets brought India on the backfoot. Pant’s 85-run cameo was ended by Tabraiz Shamsi.
Shardul Thakur (40*) again came to the rescue
India again found it tough as the middle-order batters, Venkatesh Iyer and Shreyas Iyer, failed to deliver. Shreyas scored just 11 runs while Venkatesh managed to score 22 runs. He also shared a little partnership with Shardul Thakur who again played the rescue act for Team India just like the first ODI. Thakur’s fifty in the last match allowed India to get over the 250-run mark in that run chase.
Here also, Shardul Thakur guided the innings close to the 300-run mark when the team needed it the most. He shared a vital partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin and that stand came in fewer balls which allowed India to keep a healthy run rate. Thakur’s 40* allowed India to post a decent 287/6 in their fifty overs quota. Ashwin also contributed well with the bat as he ended with 25*.
Shamsi was the pick of the bowlers from the Proteas side
Overall, South Africa bowled well and displayed a good performance. Bringing on Markram was a spot on decision by their skipper Temba Bavuma and the spinners allowed South Africa to make a comeback into this match. Shamsi was the pick of the bowlers from the Proteas side. He picked up two wickets while Maharaj, Magala and Markram got one wicket each to their names.
De Kock and Malan set the run chase on fire
The target of 288 runs didn’t look like a daunting one for the in-form batters of South Africa. The openers set the run chase on fire with an opening stand of 132 runs. Quinton De Kock and Janneman Malan were brutal against India’s experienced bowlers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. Even Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal couldn’t get the vital breakthrough.
De Kock scored a quickfire 78 before he was out LBW to Shardul Thakur. Lord Thakur gave India the much-needed wicket of the Protea wicketkeeper batter. Malan and Bavuma continued the good work which De Kock had done earlier. They shared a stand of 80 runs and drove India out of the game. Malan scored 91 runs and he was out to Bumrah.
India fought back with two wickets in two overs. But it was too late for the visitors. After an 80-run partnership between Malan and Bavuma, Markram and Rassie van der Dussen shared a stand of 74 runs off just 75 balls. This partnership sealed the match and the series for South Africa.
Markram and Van der Dussen were both unbeaten on 37 runs each to guide the home side towards another famous win against India. Rahul ended up losing his first two ODI matches as India’s captain.
Lack of wickets in middle overs hurt India hard
The visitors have a good bowling attack on paper but they failed to deliver in both the matches played in Paarl. Bumrah was good in the first match while Thakur came in handy as an all-rounder in the second fixture. But there were no wickets in the middle overs and that is a huge concern for the Indian team right now. Bumrah, Chahal and Thakur picked just one scalp each.
In 2018, when India won their first-ever ODI series in South Africa, the combo of Kulcha (Kuldeep Yadav and Chahal) was very effective. But here, Ashwin and Chahal didn’t do the job for the visitors.
Here are some of the top twitter reactions from SAvsIND 2nd ODI at Paarl: