ICC Twenty20 World Cup | Proteas put a spoke in India’s wheel with a controlled chase

Markram and Miller make the most of Indian largesse; Suryakumar dazzles again but support cast proves inadequate

Markram and Miller make the most of Indian largesse; Suryakumar dazzles again but support cast proves inadequate

Indian fans trooped into the Optus Stadium wearing layered clothing with jackets and sweaters. It was an extremely cold Sunday and there was no warmth to savour from the field either as India suffered a five-wicket loss to South Africa in a key ICC T20 World Cup Super 12 Group 2 match.

Pursuing India’s 133 for nine, a score that rested on Suryakumar’s splendid 68, South Africa finished with 137 for five in 19.4 overs.

Arshdeep strikes

In the chase, South Africa needed stability atop the order. But Arshdeep Singh had other ideas and scalped Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw. An edge and an lbw on review meant that India had flipped pressure back onto the opposition.

South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma clattered a six off Bhuvneshwar but fell trying to tip one from Mohammed Shami over fine-leg. Dinesh Karthik warmed his gloves with that catch and South Africa was 24 for three in 5.4 overs. Aiden Markram and David Miller then hung in together, hustling the runs.

Markram drilled a four off R. Ashwin and later the spinner lapsed into shock when Kohli grassed the batter in the deep. On 35, Markram survived and later a mix-up did not yield a run-out as Rohit Sharma’s throw went awry.

The South Africans flourished in the next over that Ashwin bowled with both batters striking a six each. And when Markram made room and punched Arshdeep past cover, the tide had turned.

Hardik Pandya dismissed Markram (52) but by then the batter’s 76-run fourth-wicket partnership with Miller (59 n.o.) had done enough for the victors to stay alive.

Wobbly start

Earlier, Rohit won the toss and elected to bat after picking Deepak Hooda ahead of Axar Patel. Wayne Parnell bowled a maiden over with K.L. Rahul playing and missing. Meanwhile, Rohit warmed up with a six against Kagiso Rabada and Rahul then joined the act against Parnell.

Rohit flicked Rabada for four and Kohli watched from the dugout with a towel wrapped around his arms as the temperature dipped to 14°C. But he had to step in soon as Rohit perished to Lungi Ngidi with a miscued pull popping back an easy catch.

While Kohli settled into his quick-single routine, Rahul fatally edged Ngidi. Kohli unfurled two fours off Ngidi and just as the crowd regained its voice, he top-edged a pull off Ngidi. Next-man Hooda fell without opening his account and it got worse when Hardik pulled Ngidi and found a diving Rabada at fine-leg. Wobbling at 49 for five, India needed a partnership and Suryakumar and Dinesh Karthik provided a sixth-wicket alliance worth 52 runs.

Special knock

The former scoring the bulk, lashing Anrich Nortje, lofting Keshav Maharaj and depositing Ngidi over fine-leg. A straight-driven four raised his 50, a special knock under pressure and soon Karthik departed.

Suryakumar kept the Indian fires burning, tucking into Maharaj’s spin and then doing a tennis-like forehand slap off Rabada. Eventually he succumbed to Parnell and India finished with a score that failed to test South Africa.

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