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Ken Borland

India use aggressive batting & disciplined bowling to thwart Proteas

Posted on December 21, 2022 by Ken

India thwarted South Africa’s hopes of wrapping up the ODI series in the second match in Ranchi on Sunday, using aggressive batting and disciplined bowling to beat the Proteas by seven wickets with 25 balls to spare.

Chasing 279 to win, a fabulous 113 not out off 111 balls by a pugnacious Shreyas Iyer and a ferocious 93 off 84 balls by Ishan Kishan set the home side side up for a comfortable victory. The dashing pair added 161 for the third wicket in 25.4 overs, aggressively targeting anything even slightly loose from the bowlers.

And South Africa, who had won the toss, certainly had a tough time controlling a ball that was damp due to high humidity in the evening, and were unable to replicate the same consistent lengths that India’s attack had produced on a low and slow pitch.

India had to withstand some pressure up front as the Proteas reduced them to 48/2 in the first nine overs. Wayne Parnell bowled Shikhar Dhawan for 13, and Shubnam Gill looked threatening as he played some superb drives down the ground, but Kagiso Rabada took a breathtaking return catch to dismiss him for 28 off 26 balls.

But the rest of the innings was a fiery ordeal for the South African bowlers, with all six of them going for at least 5.50 runs-per-over, while India had four of their bowlers below that mark.

The Proteas will own up to not making the most of their own excellent third-wicket partnership, as Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram shared a run-a-ball stand of 129.

Hendricks, brought into the team for the first time on the Indian tour because regular captain Temba Bavuma was ill, stroked a classy 74 off 76 balls, with nine fours and a six, looking totally at ease on a tricky pitch as he injected valuable momentum into the Proteas innings.

With Heinrich Klaasen then adding a quickfire 30 off 26 balls, a total of more than 300 looked to be their’s for the taking as they reached 215/3 in the 38th over.

Klaasen was brilliantly caught by Mohammed Siraj, running in from long-on off Kuldeep Yadav, and just two balls later, Markram leant back to lash a shortish delivery from off-spinner Washington Sundar through the covers, but hit it in the air to extra cover, where captain Dhawan took a sharp catch.

Having weathered a tough start against Kuldeep, Markram was beginning to really dominate the bowlers as he scored 79 off 89 balls.

But his dismissal meant there were two new batsmen at the crease and India conceded just 63 runs in the last 12 overs, their bowlers hitting the pitch hard with slower balls. The tactic even kept the in-form David Miller relatively quiet as he finished on 35 not out off 34 deliveries.

Siraj was the pick of the bowlers, claiming the wickets of both Quinton de Kock (5) and Hendricks, who picked out deep square-leg with a short-arm pull, and he finished with 3/38 in his 10 overs. Siraj bowled four overs on the trot at the death, conceding just 12 runs, an astonishing effort.

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