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5 key takeaways as India clinches 1st home T20 series against South Africa

New Delhi: Except for a snake in the ground and a South African ‘Maharaj’, nothing could slow down the Indian batsmen during the 2nd T20 international match in Guwahati Sunday. However, South African players David Miller and Quinton De Kock were also up for a challenge.

Winning the toss, South Africa chose to bowl first, with an extra pacer in the team, after their spinners disappointed during the previous game. India’s high score of 237 runs found competition from the other side, from two of the most experienced players — Miller and De Kock. In a match where a total of 458 runs were scored, South Africa lost by only 16 runs. The men in blue ensured the country’s first ever T20 series win against South Africa on home ground.

ThePrint looks at some key talking points from the second T20I.

  1. Rohit & Rahul’s powerpacked start & a 96-run partnership

Tripling their power play score from the last match in Thiruvananthapuram, the openers scored a powerful 57/0 in the first six overs, giving the start Indians needed. K L Rahul, who was criticised for his slow powerplay innings last time, ended up scoring 50 off just 24 balls.

  1. 50 for Rahul, 50 for SKY, 49 for Kohli; 50 for Rabada, 50 for Parnell, 49 for Ngidi

While Virat Kohli was one short of 50, he had the best seat to watch Suryakumar Yadav’s 61 off 22. The Kohli-Yadav partnership stood at 102, of just 43 balls. Meanwhile, the experienced South African pace attack failed completely with all pacers who bowled a full quota of 4 overs being hit for nearly 50 runs each.

  1. South African ‘Maharaj’ yet again the sole fighter with ball

At a time when Rohit and Rahul were looking unstoppable, scoring at the pace of 10 runs an over, Keshav Maharaj got both the wickets. The sole spinner in the South African team, bowled four overs out of the first 12 overs in the innings. In a high scoring, 230-run innings, Maharaj gave away only 23 runs.

  1. Miller & De Kock outshine struggling South African batting

The 174-run De Kock-Miller partnership was South Africa’s highest and highest ever for a 4th wicket stand partnership in an international T20 match. South Africans started slow, as Bevuma and Rossouw went off for back-to-back duck outs but star of the show was Miller, scoring 106 runs off 47 balls. This was Miller’s first 50 plus score in 11 full T20 international matches.

  1. In Bumrah’s absence, India’s death bowling remains untested

Indian bowling attack dominated the powerplay, with Arshdeep Singh taking two wickets in his first over, before giving 3 no-balls in subsequent overs. But India’s concerns about its death bowling, like the previous match, remained untested. Indian bowlers gave away 78 runs of the last 5 overs alone.

While South Africans will look at the last match to get their form right, before the big T20 World Cup, there are a lot of positives in De Kock and Miller knocks. Even though Indian batting was at its best, bowlers ended up conceding 221 runs.


Also read: ‘24-hr daylight for India-Pak match’—Iceland’s journey to cricket relevance, one tweet at a time


Source: The Print

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