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India Tour of SA: Proteas outclass Men In Blue, go 2-0 up

India, Six Sports

South Africa trounced Team India in the 2nd ODI to secure an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3 match series. Batting masterclasses from the openers De Kock(78 runs of 66 deliveries) and Malan(91 runs of 108 deliveries) were the key highlight in the chase.

Opting to bat first, KL Rahul and Dhawan were off to a positive start. India remained unscathed in the first powerplay. Dhawan looked to carry his form from the last match but fell prey to Markram after his slog sweep went into the hands of Magala at deep mid-wicket.

Pant stands out, Rahul hits fifty

Against the run of play, Maharaj dismissed Kohli for a duck. Pant came in the middle at No.4 to rescue his team from the precarious situation. The aggressive southpaw stitched a 115 run stand with skipper Rahul countering the Proteas pace attack. Rahul(55 runs of 79 deliveries) played the role of an anchor to score his 9th fifty. Pant(85 runs off 71 deliveries) was in sublime form. He went all guns blazing to hit his first ODI half-century in foreign soil.

Shardul Thakur once again impressed with the bat to stay unbeaten for his 40 in 38 deliveries. The Men In Blue reached 287-6 in 50 overs. Tabraiz Shamsi was the pick of the bowlers with 2 scalps in 9 overs.

In reply, South Africa never looked uncomfortable in the chase. The openers put up a century stand for the 1st wicket. Unlike the Proteas spinners, both Ashwin and Chahal failed to pressurize the batters. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s rough patch continued and turned out to be the most expensive amongst the Indian bowlers.

A de Kock-Malan Show

South Africa chased down the target in the 49th over to register another comprehensive victory over the visitors. Quinton de Kock was awarded the Player of the Match for his blistering knock.

Team India looked rusty in both the fixtures. The KL Rahul-led side will reach Cape Town to play for their pride in the final match.

“I think they are playing some really good cricket at home, we are making mistakes as well in the middle. It’s a good learning for us. We are a team that takes a lot of pride in winning, but good learning for us and hopefully we can grow. We are trying to get better at things we haven’t done well in the past. Partnerships, middle order becomes crucial when we are entering a big tournament, wanna get better at bowling in the middle overs and these are the few things which are really obvious and right in front of us.

We have spoken about it and it’s only up to us to get better, learn from it and find a way. It does feel like one of the wickets at home and I don’t think it was pitch where they could have chased down 280 that easily. Credit to them, they are showing us the importance of partnerships and putting pressure early on against the bowlers. The way Shikhar and Virat batted in the first game was very good, and today Rishabh batted, the way he managed the first 20 balls and then he took down the spinners.

He is a really important member of the team and Shardul, too, showing us he can bat lower down and make a good contribution. Jasprit has been the standout bowler for us and Yuzi has been good today. The energy has been great, it’s been tough on the body staying in the bubbles. We love challenges and we have come short in the first 2 games, we will look ahead to the third game and try and win that one. Too early to say (about team changes for the next ODI).” K L Rahul at post-match conference.

Brief scores: India 287/6 in 50 overs (Rishabh Pant 85, KL Rahul 55, Shardul Thakur 40*; Tabraiz Shamsi 2-57) lost to South Africa 288/3 in 48.1 overs (Jaaneman Malan 91, Quinton de Kock 78, Temba Bavuma 35, Aiden Markram 37*, Rassie van der Dussen 37) by 7 wickets.

South Africa’s Playing XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Janneman Malan, Temba Bavuma (c), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Sisanda Magala, Tabraiz Shamsi

India’s Playing XI: KL Rahul (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal

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