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Ken Borland

Delhi pitch not like the surface of the moon or a green mamba, but SA still bundled out for 99

Posted on December 23, 2022 by Ken

It’s not as if the Delhi pitch looked like the surface of the moon and provided extravagant turn or was a green mamba that seamed around, but South Africa’s batsmen still found a way to be bundled out for a miserable 99 in the third ODI against India on Tuesday.

Much credit must go to a superb Indian attack that barely erred in terms of line and length, and thoroughly exploited the reasonable assistance on offer from a pitch that provides a good contest between bat and ball.

Wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, as he often has been against the Proteas, was the most effective of the Indian bowlers as he raked in 4/18 in just 4.1 overs. But the left-armer only joined the attack in the 20th over, when South Africa were already deep in the mire on 71/6.

Having been sent in to bat, off-spinner Washington Sundar (4-0-15-2) made the initial strike, bowling wonderfully well around the wicket to the left-hander Quinton de Kock and removing him in the third over for just six.

A double strike by paceman Mohammed Siraj (5-0-17-2), removing Janneman Malan (15) and Reeza Hendricks (3), reduced South Africa to 26/3 in the powerplay.

The introduction of more spin brought even more pain for the Proteas as orthodox left-armer Shahbaz Ahmed claimed two wickets and deciphering Kuldeep was out-of-reach for the bowlers.

Heinrich Klaasen battled on for the Proteas, scoring 34 off 42 balls, before he was undone on the back foot – like many of his colleagues – and bowled by Shahbaz.

Marco Jansen was the last man out for 14 as South Africa were left on their lowest ever ODI score against India, and their second-worst first-innings effort in all ODIs, only their 83 all out against England in 2008 being lower.

The Proteas’ focus is clearly on the T20 World Cup and giving players game time, with Temba Bavuma and Tabraiz Shamsi again sitting out as they continue to recover from illness. Keshav Maharaj has now caught the bug and he sat out Tuesday’s game, David Miller captaining the ODI side for the first time. It is also the first time in ODI history that three different captains have been used in a three-match series.

Lungi Ngidi, Jansen and Andile Phehlukwayo were brought in for the decisive third ODI.

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