The second match of the five-match T20I between India and South Africa series took place at St George’s Park in Gqeberha and the hosts managed to make a winning start in a rain-affected clash.
South African captain Aiden Markram won the toss and chose to bowl first. India’s innings got off to the worst possible start as openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill were back in the pavilion within the first two overs. Tilak Varma and captain Suryakumar Yadav stitched a fifty-run partnership to stabilize the Indian innings.
Later, Rinku Singh joined Surya on the crease and they both dominated the South African bowlers, stitching a brisk 70-run partnership. Suryakumar was dismissed after scoring 56 off 36 balls, but Rinku remained not out at 68 off 39 to help India reach 180 for 7 in 19.3 overs. Ravindra Jadeja also contributed with a quick 19 off 14 balls before rain interrupted play.
Due to the rain, the match’s playing conditions were revised, and South Africa were given a target of 152 to chase in 15 overs following the DLS method. In pursuit of the target, Proteas openers Reeza Hendricks and Matthew Breetzke unleashed an aggressive onslaught from the very first over, dismantling the Indian bowlers. They accumulated 42 runs in 17 balls, providing a flying start to the team.
Although Breetzke was run out, Hendricks was joined by Markram. The duo kept the momentum up, contributing 54 runs swiftly to ensure that the Proteas’ chase stayed on the right track. Hendricks fell short of his half-century dismissed at 49 while David Miller (17 off 12) and Heinrich Klaasen did not last too long. However, Tristan Stubbs added the finishing alongside Andile Phehlukwayo, securing a five-wicket victory for the Proteas. This triumph marked a positive beginning for the series, allowing South Africa to claim a 1-0 lead.
Top Performers of the Match
Rinku Singh (68 of 39)
Playing for the first time in South African conditions and entering the batting crease with India under pressure after losing three early wickets, Rinku showcased amazing batting prowess. He scored a brilliant fifty, contributing significantly to India reaching a commendable total of 180. He smashed nine fours and two huge sixes in his outstanding knock of 68 runs to emerge as the best batter of the match.
Gerald Coetzee (3/32, 3.3 overs)
Gerald Coetzee continued his brilliant World Cup form, displaying his bowling calibre in the comforts of home this time. His high pace and bounce posed significant challenges for the Indian batters, a difficulty apparent throughout the Indian innings. Coetzee emerged as the standout, claiming three crucial wickets to aid South Africa in restricting India from surpassing a par total in the end.
Both teams are set to face each other in the third match of the series at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on December 14.