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Ken Borland

Proteas batting now certifiably in crisis 0

Posted on November 28, 2022 by Ken

South Africa’s batting is now certifiably in crisis as they could only manage a miserable 106/8 and were beaten by eight wickets with 20 balls to spare in their first T20 against India in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

That dismal score actually represented a recovery as, having been sent in to bat, the top-order were decimated by brilliant Indian swing bowling, crashing to a catastrophic 9/5.

Captain Temba Bavuma fell for a duck, bowled by a surprise inswinger from Deepak Chahar, at the end of the first over.

Arshdeep Singh then produced an incredible second over of the innings, forcing Quinton de Kock (1) to chop on, having Rilee Rossouw caught behind for a first-ball duck and then bowling David Miller first ball with another wonderful delivery that zeroed in on middle-stump.

Tristan Stubbs became the third batsmen to be dismissed first ball when he edged a cut at Chahar, Arshdeep taking a fine catch at third man.

Aiden Markram (25) and Wayne Parnell (24) averted the immediate crisis of being bowled out for a record low, adding 33, but South Africa only just limped into three figures thanks to Keshav Maharaj, who showed great determination in scoring 41 off 35 balls. The way the Proteas top-order bats, he should be regarded as a bowling all-rounder these days.

South Africa’s bowlers gave perhaps some pause for thought as Kagiso Rabada had Rohit Sharma caught behind for a two-ball duck and Anrich Nortje dismissed the other big fish, Virat Kohli (3), in the same fashion.

But Suryakumar Yadav showed what a marvellous talent he is with his 50 not off 33 balls and opener Lokesh Rahul batted through to score 51 not out off 56 balls.

Rabada (4-1-16-1) and Parnell (4-0-14-0) were both impressive with the new ball.

To make matters worse, wicketkeeper De Kock may well have injured a finger as he required prolonged treatment midway through the innings after trying to stop a leg-side wide from fast bowler Nortje.

Suryakumar became the record run-scorer in T20 Internationals in a calendar year for India, having now scored 732 runs at a brilliant average of 40.66 and a magnificent strike-rate of 180.29. He has cruised past the previous record of 689 runs by Shikhar Dhawan with ease, and still has the World Cup to come.

The 32-year-old hit the second and third deliveries he faced, from Nortje, for six, to immediately settle any nerves in the chase.

“As a batting unit, we failed to apply ourselves,” Bavuma said afterwards. “We weren’t able to adjust our plans. We saw what Rahul was able to do. We didn’t expect that pitch, we practised here  and we saw the wicket was spicy, but we didn’t expect it like that. You expected to hit through the line coming to India.”

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