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Ken Borland

Poor death bowling & poor start with the bat costs Proteas 0

Posted on July 29, 2022 by Ken

The poor death bowling of the Proteas and their poor starts with the bat cost them as they were hammered by 82 runs by India in the fourth T20 International in Rajkot on Friday, allowing the hosts to level the series at 2-2.

The Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium pitch was obviously a factor as South Africa tried to chase down 170, with the variable bounce that was apparent in India’s innings of 169 for six becoming steep and dangerous in the second innings. Temba Bavuma was struck by a delivery that hit a crack and leapt off a length, while Marco Jansen received a potentially terrible blow on the side of the neck, the ball managing to scale the two metres needed to get there.

But the fact that India managed to get to 169 for six was thanks to Dinesh Karthik, a deserved man of the match, lashing a fiery 55 off 27 balls and Hardik Pandya belting 46 off 31 deliveries, with three sixes, as they added 65 for the fifth wicket in five-and-a-half overs. Their fabulous batting meant the Proteas conceded 73 runs in the last five overs, having held the upper hand as they restricted India to 96 for four after 15 overs after being sent in to bat.

The use of Test match lengths had served South Africa well up front, with Lungi Ngidi (3-0-20-2) and Marco Jansen, playing their first matches of the series, limiting India to 40 for two in the powerplay.

Dwaine Pretorius and Anrich Nortje (3-0-21-1) kept the pressure on, and spinner Keshav Maharaj (4-0-29-1) out-thought Rishabh Pant to reduce India to 81 for four after 13 overs.

Unfortunately, the death bowling of Nortje (15 runs off the 16th), Maharaj (13 off the 17th), Pretorius (32 off the 18th & 20th) and Ngidi (13 off the 19th) was not up to scratch.

Bavuma then had a torrid time opening the batting and retired hurt with an elbow injury on 8 off 11 balls. He was 1 off 7 before a boundary, but was then hit by a delivery that reared off a length, which does not do your confidence any good, or that of the rest of the batting line-up.

The real mess started when Quinton de Kock was sold down the river by Pretorius and run out for 14. De Kock squeezed Harshal Patel into the ground in front of him, Pretorius initially called for the run but then bailed out, leaving De Kock stranded as Harshal was already past him on his way to hitting the stumps.

With Heinrich Klaasen (8) and David Miller (9) both falling cheaply, Rassie van der Dussen was the last hope until he fell for a run-a-ball 20, one of three wickets Avesh Khan (4-0-18-4) took in the 14th over.

With leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal taking two for 21 and slow left-arm orthodox Axar Patel one for 19, South Africa were all out for 87 in the 17th over.

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