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Ken Borland

Miller & De Kock show their enduring worths, but that must not pull the wool over the eyes of SA management 0

Posted on December 05, 2022 by Ken

Centurion David Miller and Quinton de Kock showed their enduring worths in T20 cricket with a magnificent partnership, but that must not pull the wool over the eyes of the Proteas management as to how many problems the side has following South Africa’s 16-run defeat to India in the second T20 in Guwahati on Sunday.

The Proteas problems began with their bowling, which was awful, allowing a hungry Indian top-order to plunder 237/3 after South Africa had sent them in to bat. It is the highest score the Proteas have ever conceded in a T20 International, beating the 236/6 the West Indies scored when they won batting second at the Wanderers in 2014/15.

Having played two spinners on a seamer’s pitch in the first T20, South Africa then brought in Lungi Ngidi for Tabraiz Shamsi in Guwahati, when the pitch probably suited a second spinner, judging by how well left-armer Keshav Maharaj bowled in taking 2/23 in his four overs.

All the pacemen were poor and were severely punished. They could not find their lines and lengths up front, and then, under pressure, their skills dissolved in a flood of full tosses and short, wide deliveries. A temperature in the 30s and 94% humidity meant there was lots of sweat around to make the ball slippery, but India’s bowlers were far more controlled having to deal with the same conditions.

Openers Lokesh Rahul (57 off 28) and Rohit Sharma (43 off 37) took full toll of the loose bowling to put on 96 in 9.5 overs for the first wicket.

Maharaj dismissed both of them, but there was no denying the thrilling Suryakumar Yadav as he ruthlessly smashed 61 off just 22 balls, while Virat Kohli showed his great class with 49 not out off 28 deliveries.

Kagiso Rabada (14.25), Anrich Nortje (13.66), Wayne Parnell (13.50) and Ngidi (12.25) all had economy rates that were extremely expensive.

It would be dumb to continue to ignore South Africa’s top-order woes, with Temba Bavuma making a seven-ball duck and Rilee Rossouw also making back-to-back ducks as he charged down the pitch second-ball to play a silly shot against Arshdeep Singh. The left-arm quick took two wickets in his first over, having snared three in the first T20.

Aiden Markram scored a free-flowing 33 off 19 balls before spinner Axar Patel knocked over his off-bail with a wonderful delivery.

With South Africa already needing 14.5 runs-per-over, Miller and the struggling De Kock then had some fun as they added an unbeaten 174 in 13.4 overs as the visitors reached 221/3.

Miller was sensational, scoring 106 not out off 47 balls, hitting seven balls out of the park. He fought incredibly hard for the team and showcased his amazing skill.

It will please the Proteas greatly that De Kock is back to something approaching his best as he finished with 69* off 48 balls, an innings which started in battling fashion but ended in a flurry of boundaries.

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