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Ken Borland

Top-class batting display takes SA to victory & a series win

Posted on February 17, 2022 by Ken

A top-class batting display by South Africa carried them to an exceptional seven-wicket victory and another series triumph over a much-vaunted Indian team in the second ODI at Boland Park in Paarl on Friday.

Chasing a testing 288 for victory, a target which has never been achieved in the second innings in ODIs at Paarl, the Proteas began superbly with a commanding opening stand of 132 off 136 deliveries between Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan.

De Kock was in a rush, racing to a tremendous 78 off 66 balls with an array of great strokes that brought him seven fours and three sixes. He did not bat beyond the 22nd over, missing a low full toss and falling lbw to Shardul Thakur, but he had given South Africa a fantastic platform.

Malan batted on as he and captain Temba Bavuma rammed home the advantage with a second-wicket stand of 80 at better than a run-a-ball.

Malan’s composed innings of 91 off 108 deliveries came to an end when he was bowled off his arm by a Jasprit Bumrah off-cutter, but it was another classy knock from a 25-year-old who has made such a great start to his ODI career that he has now scored 758 runs in his first 12 innings.

There was a slight wobble when Bavuma was caught-and-bowled by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who posed a consistent risk, for 35 in the next over. South Africa still needed 74 runs off 86 balls.

But a typically calm Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram, who both finished on 37 not out, took the Proteas home with 11 balls to spare. It was a morale-boosting return to form for Markram.

India, having won the toss and batted on a sweltering day, were off to a quick start as Lokesh Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan (29) added 63 off 73 deliveries. Off-spinner Markram made the breakthrough as Dhawan was well-caught by Sisanda Magala, who had endured a torrid time with the new ball, at deep midwicket.

In the next over, left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj claimed the vital wicket of Virat Kohli for a duck, beaten in the flight and chipping a catch to cover.

South Africa’s fielding had not been particularly sharp up till then and it then fell apart as four catches were dropped and an easy run out, in the early stages of the third-wicket partnership between Rahul and Rishabh Pant, was farcically botched.

But the tenacity of this South African team came to the fore as they put those horrors behind them.

Magala returned with an admirable second spell and removed Rahul for 55 and South Africa again struck in the following over as Pant, who had played brilliantly in scoring a fiery 85 off 71 balls, holed out off Tabraiz Shamsi.

De Kock took another brilliant leg-side stumping standing up to Andile Phehlukwayo  to dismiss Venkatesh Iyer for 22 and although Thakur (40*) and Ravichandran Ashwin (25*) added 48 in the last six-and-a-half overs, the Proteas would have been relieved to not be chasing more than 300 based on how badly they had fielded.

It was spin which once again turned the tide with Maharaj (9-0-52-1), Shamsi (9-0-57-2) and Markram (8-0-34-1) all doing excellent jobs. Lungi Ngidi, although wicketless, was the best of the seamers, while Phehlukwayo also did well.

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