David Miller and Aiden Markram came on the chase for half a century after South Africa’s fast bowlers shook up India’s top rankings, bringing them to a below-average total. Suryakumar Yadav’s 68 counter-attack was not enough to push India to a defensible backlog as South Africa triumphed despite their major collapse. With this win, they are the first over India in the T20 World Cups, and South Africa moving to the top of the Group 2 table.
The early destruction ft. pace
India chose to bat, perhaps with the idea of taking their T20 batting squad to the World Cup, but they were held back by South Africa’s exceptionally fast bowlers, who enjoyed life on the surface of Perth that felt like a Throwback to a strip of Johannesburg.
Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell produced some ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ moments that consistently hit the outside of India’s early matches before Lungi Ngidi came along and hit India like a sledgehammer. First, he hit a long hard blow to catch and launch Rohit. Rahul, who had relieved some of his nerves with a six from Parnell in the previous one, unraveled with a long pass to the stump that pushed past Aiden Markram on the first slip. India limped 33-for-2 with half centurions from the previous game, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav, in the middle hoping to plan the comeback.
Does it happen?
Not quite. Kohli landed two pristine shots from Ngidi, through covers and midwicket, before a lopsided jerk to the long leg where Rabada covered ground to his right and completed a sharp take. Late in the ninth, Deepak Hooda was eliminated after seeing a ball go past at 150km/h and Hardik Pandya became Ngidi’s fourth scalp, he served a short ball poorly and was caught.
Suryakumar Yadav’s Blinders
The swift South Africans spewed fire, but Suryakumar chose to fight it in his signature style, with some friendly fire. Very early in his innings, he tried to shake the ball and play against balls thrown into the high 140s. He executed one, a Nortje whip for a six, before hitting Keshav Maharaj in the bottom of the innings. India went from 60-for-5 in 10 overs to 89-for-5 in 14, prompting Temba Bavuma to bring Ngidi back. Suryakumar welcomed him with a dizzying punch to the slender leg as he crossed over and performed the devastating scoop again.
Suryakumar took a break from unorthodoxy and skipped a direct shot to the ground in the same to reach a half-century off 30 balls. Dinesh Karthik stood for a while to let Suryakumar play his game, but he fell just before the kill ended. Suryakumar continued to swing his baton in the quest to fuel India’s quest for 150. But Parnell threw a good 19 where he sacked R Ashwin and finished Suryakumar’s excellent innings – at 68 runs from 40 balls, leaving India to a superb finish.
One PowerPlay trumps another
Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Shami were on fire early on, helping India overcome South Africa’s PowerPlay performance on the ball. Arshdeep put a dent in the South Africa chase early on by dismissing both batsmen in the form: Quinton de Kock, with an away swinger, and Rilee Rossouw with an inside swinger. Shami took advantage of the excess rebounding and bowled a hard over in the PowerPlay, accounting for Temba Bavuma’s wicket and reducing South Africa to 24 for 3 in 6 overs.
A limp to 10 overs
India kept turning the screws as South Africa limped along at 40 for 3 in 10 overs, left to chase down 94 of the last 60 balls.
The post-drink surge in South Africa
A drinking break came midway through the chase and ended up changing the look of the chase entirely. The memo passed to Markram and Miller was perhaps to start finding the next gear because they did it immediately. Hardik Pandya conceded 16 in the over after that break, with the duo collecting three bounds.
The biggest sign that the momentum had changed hands well and truly was when Virat Kohli dropped a regulation opportunity on a deep square leg to send Markram packing, much to Ashwin’s disbelief. Later on, Rohit Sharma missed a great opportunity to give Markram another breathing space.
Meanwhile, Ashwin tried to lure Miller into a false shot with a full ball thrown up but banked long. The South African pair took 17 from that over and Markram finished with a six on the last ball. At this point, the equation had dwarfed 49 out of 36 balls.
Ashwin’s bet on the 18 over
India chose Deepak Hooda over Axar Patel but could not afford to bring him in at a time when the chase was starting to move away from them. Rohit Sharma had to choose between Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 18 and opted for roulette when South Africa needed 25 runs from 18 balls. Ashwin tried the stretch shot again and Miller treated it the same way, going for a big six. for a long time. The next ball was hit wide and long to end India’s dashed hopes of a late-game holdup, as South Africa now only needed 13 runs from 16 balls. Ashwin ruled out Tristan Stubbs and cut him to 12-for-12.
Shami gave away just six in the penultimate over, but India was still on a shaky footing heading into the final over. Then Miller’s fours in a row completed South Africa’s chase with two balls to spare.
Brief Scores: India 133/9 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 68; Lungi Ngidi 4/29, Wayne Parnell 3/15) lose to South Africa 137/5 in 19.4 overs (David Miller 59 not out, Aiden Markram 52; Arshdeep Singh 2/25, Mohammed Shami 1/13) by five wickets
India heads to Adelaide, where they will face Bangladesh on November 2. South Africa travels to Sydney, where it will play Pakistan on November 3