South Africa produced an impressive all-round display to defeat India by 5 wickets in the Group 2 clash at the T20 World Cup on Sunday. The Proteas inflicted a first defeat on India in the ongoing campaign, as the Rohit Sharma-led side had earlier beaten Pakistan and Zimbabwe in its opening two matches. David Miller (59*) and Aiden Markram (52) shined for the side with the bat, while Lungi Ngidi was the pick of the bowlers as he took four wickets including those of the Indian top-3 to put the side under instant pressure.
After opting to bat, India had a disastrous start as KL Rahul’s (9) disappointing form continued, while Rohit Sharma (15), too, failed to make a mark. Virat Kohli, who had scored unbeaten half-centuries in the previous two matches of the tournament, could only score 12 and Deepak Hooda, who was India’s only change as he replaced Axar Patel, was dismissed without troubling the scorers.
Suryakumar Yadav, however, stuck at one end as Hardik Pandya (2) departed quicly too; the 31-year-old batter forgeda 51-run stand alongside Dinesh Karthik, scoring a majority of runs in the partnership before the latter was dismissed on 6. Suryakumar smashed six fours and three sixes to score 68 off just 40 deliveries, playing a key role in taking India’s score to a respectable 133/9 in 20 overs.
Among South African bowlers, Lungi Ngidi registered figures of 4/29 while Wayne Parnell also took three wickets, conceding only 15.
South Africa, too, had a poor start to their run-chase as they two wickets early in the game, with Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw were dismissed by Arshdeep Singh within three deliveries. Temba Bavuma, too, departed in the final over of the Powerplay before Aiden Markram and David Miller stitched a match-winning 76-run partnership to take the game away from the Indian team.
Adding to India’s woes were the fielding errors at cruch moments, as Virat Kohli dropped an absolute sitter in the 12th over of the game, giving Aiden Markram a lifeline at 35. In the very next over, Rohit Sharma also missed a run out opportunity as Miller survived.
Both players eventually scored half-centuries and even as Markram was dismissed on 52, Miller eventually saw South Africa off the finishing line, smashing two successive sixes off Ashwin’s 18th over before hitting the winning runs in the final over against Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
With the win, South Africa reach the top of the table with five points. India, meanwhile, are now second with four points in three games.