Touch of Klaasen as SA beat India


Centurion:-South Africa’s stand-in skipper JP Duminy and Heinrich Klaasen smashed blazing fifties to fire the home team to a series-levelling victory against India in the second Twenty20 International at the SuperSport Park, Centurion on Wednesday.

Klaasen smashed 69 from 30 balls to steer South Africa to a six-wicket victory over India at Pretoria to stay alive in the three-match series.

 Chasing 189 for a win, South Africa were jolted early by India pacers and were reduced to 2/38 before Klaasen and Duminy put on a 93-run stand for the third wicket.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Klaasen tore into the tourists’ attack, in particular leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (0-64 in four overs), as he smashed seven sixes in his best score in the international 20-over format in just his second match.

Captain Duminy (64 not out from 40 balls) saw the side home with an innings that did not produce the same explosive power, but was clever in its execution, as South Africa reached 189 for four with eight balls remaining.

Earlier, India reached 188 for four in their 20 overs, their innings anchored by a magnificent 79 from 48 balls by Manish Pandey, while MS Dhoni pitched in with a brilliant 52 from 28 balls.

India rode on some power packed batting to post a competitive total thanks to Pandey and Dhoni’s power-packed knocks.

Coming together in the 11th over, the duo added 98 runs between them to carry the visitors to a formidable total.

Fast bowler Junior Dala bowled well on his T20I debut, notching up figures of 2/28.

Asked to bat first, the visitors suffered a scare off the very first ball when Shikhar Dhawan edged a Chris Morris delivery onto his pads.

The umpire had initially ruled the left-hander out but had to reverse his decision after television replays revealed a clear inside edge.

But the Indians’ relief was only temporary as Dala struck the first blow for the hosts with a delivery that kept low and trapped and outfoxed Rohit Sharma plumb before the stumps.

However, the arrival of Suresh Raina saw the momentum shift to the Indians’ favour as he and Dhawan started to play in an aggressive manner and dominated the South African pacers. The duo kept the Indians on track with a 43-run partnership.

That prompted South African captain Jean-Paul Duminy to come into the attack and the off-spinner had an immediate impact as Dhawan hit his second delivery into the hands of Farhaan Behardien at mid-on.

Dhawan was in good touch, scoring 24 runs off 14 balls with three boundaries and two sixes.

Dala removed Virat Kohli in the next over, outfoxing the Indian skipper with some extra bounce as overjoyed wicket-keeper Heinrich Klaasen latched onto to the outside edge.

The momentum however, stayed with the Indians as Raina and Manish Pandey added 45 runs between them off the next five overs.

Fast bowler Andile Phehlukwayo broke the crucial partnership when he trapped Raina leg before. Raina’s 24-ball knock produced 30 runs which included five hits to the fence.

That was the last bit of celebration the hosts will eventually manage as Pandey and Dhoni virtually tore the Proteas’ bowling apart.

The third and series-deciding match will be played in Cape Town on Saturday.

SOUTH AFRICA: JJ Smuts, Reeza Hendricks, Jean-Paul Duminy (capt), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi

INDIA: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli (capt), Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal

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