India’s 12-match winning streak ends as South Africa chase down record 212 in Delhi

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South Africa downed India in their biggest ever T20I chase by the Proteas in Delhi on Thursday, June 9. David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen’s carnage in the final 10 overs of the game meant that India under the leadership of Rishabh Pant watched helplessly as the match went out of their hands. Miller scored a stunning 64* off just 31 balls and was the prime reason behind the visitors’ uprising in the final few overs of the match. He was ably aided by Rassie van der Dussen who finished with 75* off 46 balls despite struggling for the first 30 balls of his innings.

Earlier in the day, South Africa captain Temba Bavuma won the toss and opted to bowl but his bowlers were sent on a wild leather hunt by India’s batters. Ishan Kishan top-scored with 76 before Hardik Pandya (31 not out) and Rishabh Pant (29) played scintillating cameos to give the hosts 211 for 4 off their 20 overs.

South Africa handed a debut to Tristan Stubbs after Aiden Markram was ruled after testing positive for Covid-19.

INTENT FILLED START

South Africa’s beginning was the stuff of dreams that any team could hope for while chasing a record target. Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma knew that they were in for a tricky chase with the track behaving oddly, but did fairly well against Bhuveshwar Kumar who was on song.

THE SLUMP

South Africa lost wickets inside the powerplay, but kept the scoring rate up in the chase of 212 runs.
The middle overs brought a dip in the scoring rate with Axar and Harshal Patel operating in the middle over that choked South Africa’s momentum. Harshal’s one run over essentially turned the tide for India where he clean bowled Dwaine Pretorius with a slower full toss. Stuttering at the halfway mark and needing 126 runs from the final 10 overs, South Africa chose to turn the game.

THE BROKEN BAT

After an immense struggle while trying to get bat on ball Rassie van der Dussen looked frustrated by the 14th over. A searing yorker from Avesh broke the player’s bat in a testimony to the ferocity of the Indian speedster.

And that’s exactly when Rassie van der Dussen exploded. Having made 23 off 28 by that time, van der Dussen suddenly found his touch. A clean hitting performance led him to finish at 75* off just 46 balls, meaning he scored 52 off his last 18. He took pacers to the cleaners and came clutch when

Miller needed a lot of support and hit the winning boundary with five balls to spare.

ISHAN’S FIREWORKS

After South Africa captain Temba Bavuma won the toss and decided to bowl, Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad gave India an explosive start. Both men were at the top together only because KL Rahul was ruled out with an injury on the eve of the series opener and they made the most of it – at least Ishan did.

Ruturaj Gaikwad looked promising during his stay, smashing 23 off 15 including three sixes. However, his innings was cut short by Wayne Parnell after he had added 57 for the first wicket with Ishan Kishan off just 6.2 overs.

There were concerns how this Indian batting line-up would stand up against a full-strength South African side. However, those fears were dispelled by a superb show from Ishan Kishan who looked well on course for his maiden international hundred. Along with Shreyas Iyer, Ishan added 80 for the second wicket in a little over 6 overs.

Ishan Kishan, who started well for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2022 before a dip in form, was sensational. He hit 11 boundaries and 3 sixes in a 48-ball 76 before falling to Keshav Maharaj. Shreyas Iyer chipped in with a valuable 36 but the real difference was made at the end by Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya.

Rishabh Pant was named captain after KL Rahul was ruled out and he came out and played a superb cameo. In 16 balls, Pant made 29 and his innings was laced with 2 fours and 2 sixes.

Hardik Pandya, the new vice-captain of the Indian team, blazed away to an unbeaten 31 off 12 balls and his innings was studded with 2 fours and 3 sixes. Dinesh Karthik, who returned to the side after his fireworks for Royal Challengers Bangalore, played only 2 balls and was unbeaten on 1.

India finished with 211 for 4 off their 20 overs, the highest T20I total in Delhi. However, that was not to be as an absolute blinder of a partnership took the game away from India in a record chase from the Proteas.

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