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Ken Borland

Demolisher Miller & building Rassie lead SA to victory

Posted on July 20, 2022 by Ken

David Miller in demolition mode and Rassie van der Dussen, slowly building his innings to a crescendo, combined to lift South Africa to an extraordinary seven-wicket victory in the first T20 against India in Delhi on Thursday.

Chasing India’s record score of 211/4, Miller continued to grow his reputation as one of the best finishers in world cricket as he battered 64 not out off 31 balls, steering South Africa’s highest ever T20 chase.

But Van der Dussen had taken 31 balls to reach 30 and with South Africa needing 120 from the last nine overs, the pressure just seemed to be mounting inexorably on the Proteas.

But Van der Dussen showed great composure to put aside his earlier struggles, hitting three sixes and a four off Harshal Patel in the 17th over and hammering 45 off his last 15 balls to finish with a powerful 75 not out off 46 balls.

That left South Africa needing 34 off the last three overs to win and the boundaries continued to flow as the Proteas won with five balls to spare, the experienced pair of Miller and Van der Dussen adding 131 off 63 balls.

Dwaine Pretorius had earlier struck a fiery 29 off 13 balls as he was elevated to No.3 in the order and ensured the Proteas made a brisk start in the powerplay, reaching 60/1 in the first five overs.

On a small field which took South Africa’s ace spinners, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi out the game – they conceded 70 runs in five overs – India were put on course for a big score by openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (23) and Ishan Kishan after being sent in to bat.

They added 57 in 6.2 overs and even after Kishan was dismissed for a hard-hitting 76 off 48 balls, India ploughed on through Shreyas Iyer (36 off 27) and Rishabh Pant (29 off 16).

Hardik Pandya then put the cherry on top with a blazing 31 not out off just 12 deliveries.

Wayne Parnell, on his return to the T20 side for the first time since 2017 due to Aiden Markram withdrawing with Covid, was the best of the bowlers with 1/32 in his four overs.

Kagiso Rabada was unfortunate to end his four-over stint without a wicket and conceding 35 runs.

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