Pandey and Dhoni’s unbeaten half-centuries go in vain for India as the hosts make it 1-1
Skipper Jean-Paul Duminy hammered an unbeaten half-century and Heinrich Klaasen smashed a 30-ball 69 as South Africa cruised home in the second T20I here on Wednesday.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, who hit seven sixes and three fours, was particularly severe on Yuzvendra Chahal, not allowing him to settle down. It was a night the leggie, who gave away 64 in four overs, would like to forget. Klaasen finally fell to Jaydev Undakat, but by then he had done enough.
After the home team lost two wickets for just 38 runs within the first five overs, Klaasen and Duminy put on 93 for the third wicket. The departure of the former did not add any pressure as Duminy kept up the tempo and finished it off in style, hoicking two successive sixes off left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat.
Earlier, Manish Pandey and Mahendra Singh Dhoni slammed quick-fire half-centuries to guide India to 188 for four. While Pandey remained unbeaten on 79 off 48 balls, veteran Dhoni made 52 off 28 deliveries. The duo shared 98 runs for the fifth wicket in just 9.2 overs to take India to the commanding total.
Sent into bat, India was dealt a severe blow in the first ball of the second over when Rohit Sharma was caught plumb in front for a duck by Junior Dala.
But thereafter, Shikhar Dhawan (24 off 14) clobbered Chris Morris for two fours and as many sixes in the third over. Suresh Raina (31 off 24) matched his partner stroke for stroke and hit right-arm pacer Dane Peterson for three boundaries in the next over to take India to 40 for one after four overs.
With his pacers going for runs, Duminy brought himself on in the next over but was welcomed by Dhawan with an exquisite pull to the midwicket boundary. Duminy, however, got his man in the next ball as Dhawan hit a full toss straight to Farhaan Behardien at mid-on.
India received a big blow in the next over when skipper Virat Kohli gloved a rising Dala delivery straight to Heinrich Klaasen behind the stumps. Thereafter, Raina and Pandey added 45 runs off 31 balls for the fourth wicket. But the dangerous-looking partnership was broken by Andile Phehlukwayo in the 11th over when he had Raina lbw.
After Raina’s dismissal, Pandey and Dhoni mixed caution with aggression to take India forward.
The duo took time to settle down but once they got their eyes in, they clobbered the South African bowlers all around the park.
While Pandey struck six boundaries and three sixes, Dhoni was not far behind his younger partner as he found the fence four times and over it thrice. That, however, was not enough this day.