Recent Match Report – South Africa vs India 2nd T20I 2023/24

South Africa 154 for 5 (Hendricks 49, Markram 30, Mukesh 2-34) beat India 180 for 7 (Rinku 68*, Suryakumar 56, Coetzee 3-32) by five wickets (DLS method)

Reeza Hendricks fell one short of an eighth fifty in his last 12 T20I innings but played a pivotal role in South Africa’s victory in a rain-affected match in Gqeberha. After the first fixture in the series was washed out in Durban two days ago, South Africa’s win now means they have an unassailable lead and India must win on Thursday in Johannesburg for a share of the spoils.

Hendricks, who did not get a game at last year’s T20 World Cup and is South Africa’s leading run-scorer in the format this year, underlined his claim on the opener’s role with another authoritative knock. While Quinton de Kock, currently at the Abu Dhabi T20, will come into national contention for next year’s tournament, Hendricks’ latest efforts must secure him the other opener’s spot.

Facing a tough chase of a revised target of 152 in 15 overs, Hendricks and Matthew Breetzke started briskly. They put on 42 in 16 balls before an over-eager Breetzke was run-out. Hendricks then combined with captain Aiden Markram to add 54 in five overs and by the time both were dismissed, South Africa needed 44 off the last six overs. Heinrich Klaasen fell shortly after and David Miller after that, but Tristan Stubbs and Andile Phehlukwayo secured the win with seven balls to spare.
Both attacks would have been pleased with the way their spinners went, especially South Africa. Tabraiz Shamsi had the most economical figures by any bowler with a return of 1 for 18 in four overs. That he bowled a large share of his overs to India’s half-centurions – Suryakumar Yadav and Rinku Singh – underlined how impressive his efforts were. After India were pegged back to 6 for 2, Suryakumar’s 36-ball 56 and Rinku’s unbeaten, career-best 68 off 39 took them to a competitive total.
They would have liked the opportunity to score a few more runs but rain cut their innings short with three balls to spare and Gerald Coetzee on a hat-trick. A 57-minute delay meant South Africa lost five overs from the chase but the match was completed without any further interruptions.
Marco makes his mark
After finishing as the most successful first-powerplay bowler at the recent 50-over World Cup, Marco Jansen was back at it with the new ball in the shortest format. He found movement into the left-handed Yashasvi Jaiswal and beat the inside edge before banging in a short ball. Jaiswal could not get on top of the bounce as he tried to cut and hit it to David Miller at backward point, who took a diving catch to his left. Two balls later, exactly the same thing happened but with Tilak Varma attempting the shot. He sent it to Miller’s right and though he went for the ball with both hands he could not hold on. Tilak went on to share in a 49-run third-wicket stand with Suryakumar and hit four fours and a six before Jansen took the catch that dismissed him for 29.

SKY’s the limit
India lost both openers for ducks for only the second time in T20I history, and first since 2016, and it was up to stand-in captain Suryakumar to rebuild. He had luxury of watching for an over as Varma took Jansen apart in an 18-run third over and then got in on the act with two fours and a six in Coetzee’s 14-run fourth, including a signature flick for six over the wicketkeeper’s head. Suryakumar continued on to whip Lizaad Williams over deep midwicket for six, send an Andile Phehlukwayo slower ball over short fine, sweep Tabraiz Shamsi through square and hit Jansen off his pads and over Heinrich Klaasen. He brought up 50 off 29 balls, put on 70 with Rinku, and was set to bat through but was deceived by a Shamsi googly and hit it to long-off to depart in the 14th over.

Rinku breaks through the glass ceiling (sort of)
He’d already scored his first T20I fifty, off 30 balls, and kept India’s run-rate between eight and nine runs an over but with only two boundaries between the 16th and 18th overs, he wanted to finish with a flourish. He hit the penultimate ball of Aiden Markam’s last over over long-on and into the stands and then charged down the track to meet the last delivery and send the ball over Markram’s head and into the press-box window. The media area at St George’s Park is lower than at any of South Africa’s other venues – so his effort was not so much impressive for height as it was for accuracy and power. The glass has not been broken at that venue too often, but Rinku sent a spiderweb shattering through it to make his case to the Indian selectors.

Put a slip in it
Mohammed Siraj started with one slip in place and immediately found Hendricks’ outside edge. The problem was that the chance went in the direction of where a second slip would have been and then snuck under Mukesh Kumar at deep third for four. Hendricks steered the next ball in the same area for a single. The next ball found Matthew Breetzke’s edge but fell short of first slip to get him off strike and Hendricks then calmed things down with a drive through mid-off. Surykakumar sensed something was coming and put a second slip in, Siraj bowled it wide, Hendricks flashed and edged again. The problem was that the chance went where third slip would have been and beat deep third for four more. The over ended with a straighter delivery and a warning. Siraj was hunting the edge but he had to wait until the 10th over to continue his quest.

India fight back – a little too late
Hendricks’ dismissal was sandwiched inbetween Markram not getting enough on a shot he hoped would carry over deep square leg and Heinrich Klaasen pulling Siraj to wide long-on as South Africa lost 3 for 12 in nine balls. If there was a time for India to take back some control, that was it. Kuldeep Yadav bowled a boundary-less third over, Siraj found another edge as a chance off David Miller evaded first slip and then was at deep backward square to take the catch when Miller hit Mukesh Kumar in that area, but South Africa were batting deep. New Test squad member Stubbs and Phehlukwayo saw it through to delight a near-full St George’s Park crowd.

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