Match summary: Markram, Miller guide South Africa home
Aiden Markram and David Miller guided South Africa to a morale-boosting five-wicket victory over India after pacers Lungi Ngidi and Wayne Parnell broke India's famed batting in a thrilling, low-scoring Group 2 match at the Perth Stadium on Sunday.
Chasing a modest target of 134, South African batters ran into early trouble when the young left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh dismissed the two in-form batters, Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw. MohammadShami followed it up with the wicket of Temba Bavuma.
Markram and Miller showed the patience and mental strength to withstand the hostile bowling on a wicket that made batting difficult. The duo launched the assault after 10 overs to bring the run rate down.
The Proteas were also assisted by some sloppy catching and a few lucky chances that went South African way, including a couple missed run out chances.
Even though South Africa had some anxious moments towards the end, after the loss of Markram, Miller ensured that he stayed to complete the win with an unbeaten 56 off 46 balls.
For India, Suryakumar Yadav was the sole batter who took up the challenge. He scored a counter-attacking 68 in a total of 133 where the next big score was 15 by Rohit Sharma. All the top Indian batters including skipper Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya tried to take on Ngidi and were outfoxed by the South African pacer.
One of the highlights was the South African fielding. The Proteas seldom missed a ball and Kagiso Rabada, who went wicketless, took two brilliant catches to dismiss Kohli and Pandya, which pushed India on the backfoot.
The victory has propelled the South Africans to the top of the table, and this result could have repercussions on the qualifications of the other teams, including India, who have to play Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
South Africa coast towards a win
The rub of the green is not going India's way. Virat Kohli dropped a straight-forward chance off Markram, mishits are going over the boundary, an easy run-out chance missed. It’s not India’s day. After the 10-over break, the South Africans came back with the plan of improving the run rate and targeted Hardik Pandya and Ravichandran Ashwin. Dinesh Karthik has been encouraging a demoralized Ashwin by saying: “that’s ok, that’s ok. We can get them, in Tamil, but that didn’t help as he conceded 17 runs off the over. Even a mishit landed in between the boundary fielders to allow Markram complete his half-century. After 15 overs, South Africa are 95 for three, needing 30 off five overs.
Game hanging in balance at midway point
The Group 2 clash at Perth has turned out to be a drama with several twists and turns. Hit and miss, close chances and a missed run-out all happened towards the close of the first half, but South Africa will be happy that their key batters are still at the crease. David Miller and Aidam Markram are not getting enough scoring opportunities and the dot balls are increasing the asking rate. But the duo are capable of hitting the top gear soon. The South Africans are 40/3 after 10 overs, needing another 94 off 60 balls. For India, these two wickets are crucial.
Make-or-break partnership for South Africa
It’s swinging and seaming in Perth, and the batters are all at sea. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had an extended spell of three overs, and Arshdeep Singh posed so many questions to the batters. But South African batters have not gone on the offensive; they are willing to grind it out. The fielding is not sharp as some easy singles inside the 30-yard circle were given away. When things seem to quieten down, Bavuma tried to play a scoop shot off Shami only to feather an edge to keeper Karthik, who completed a diving catch. After six overs, South Africa are 24/3. David Miller and Aiden Markram need to put together a partnership, but an interesting tussle is brewing between the Gujarat Titans teammates: Miller against Shami and Hardik Pandya.
Twin strike by Arshdeep Singh
Arshdeep Singh strikes two vital blows for India to push South Africa into trouble. The left-arm seamer moved the ball away from dangerous South African opener Quinton de Kock, who tried to play a cover drive, but the closed face of the bat and the ball went to the second slip to Rahul. Skipper Rohit Sharma’s decision to review the umpire's decision gave India the second wicket when the in-form Rilee Rossouw was struck on the back foot. After two overs, South Africa are 7 for two. An exciting finish on the cards0
Midway summary: Suryakumar's knock saves India
Suryakumar Yadav’s calculated counter-offensive gives India 233/9, a sub-par total, to defend on a wicket that offers help to fast bowlers in the Group 2 clash of the Twenty20 World Cup at Perth on Sunday.
Suryakumar, who has been scoring runs in tons this year, completed his eighth half-century of the year and stood tall when wickets were falling around him. The right-hander became the eighth wicket to fall after scoring a 68 off 48 balls to guide India to 133 for nine in 20 overs.
Indian openers started sedately and may have hoped to step up the scoring against lesser-paced Lungi Ngidi. But the South African pacer turned the tables on India by claiming four wickets: skipper Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya.
Ngidi needs to thank his fellow pacer Kagiso Rabada, who went wicketless despite cranking up the pressure. He came up with two brilliant catches to dismiss Kohli and Pandya. Left-arm pacer Wayne Parnell also finished with impressive figures of three for 15 in his four overs.
South Africa, who need a good start, will want opener Quinton de Kock to lead the chase against the moving ball.
Dinesh Karthik’s stay ends
The fall of Dinesh Karthik has put all the burden on Surya’s shoulders, and once again it was a wild heave from India’s famed finisher at the start of the 16th over that ended his stay. Spinner Keshav Maharaj will have to complete his final over, and India could have utilised it well if Karthik remained. After 16, India are 105 for six.
Suryakumar hits eighth 50 of the year
Suryakumar lives up to expectations to score another half-century, his eighth this year. India’s leading run-scorer this year, SKY and Dinesh Karthik have been rebuilding the Indian innings that was in disarray due to some needless bravado. But the advent of spinners has given Surya and Karthik the breathing space to gain some momentum to take the score closer to 150. This pair is mixing caution with aggression to keep the scoreboard ticking. Surya is batting on 51 and Karthik on 6 with India 101/5 with 30 balls to go. A crucial period for both teams.
South Africa in full control
The first 10 overs clearly belongs to South Africa. The Indians could have done better if they had played a bit more sensibly, instead of going all out against the pace quartet. They could have waited patiently, rotated strike and attacked the spinner, who is likely to bowl in the final 10. The conditions are difficult, and the pitch has the pace and bounce, but nothing alarming. All Indian batters were out playing attacking shots. India are 60/5 at the halfway mark, with Suryakumar Yadav and Dinesh Karthik at the crease.
South Africa push India deep in trouble
India in deep trouble after losing Hardik Pandya. The Men in Blue have lost five wickets scoring 31 in the last five overs. So Ngidi have got four wickets now and this time he had to thank the agile Rabada, who ran few metres to dive in front and complete a brilliant catch, leaving Pandya stunned. After nine overs, 51 for five. The contest has completely turned on its head in the last few overs.
South Africa grab two more wickets
After conceding two boundaries in the over, Ngidi dismisses Kohli to silence the crowd. Rabada completed a good running catch off the top-edge on the fine-leg boundary to dismiss Kohli for the first time in this World Cup. Deepak Hooda, who has replaced Axar, flashed at Nortje to be caught behind, and India are in a perilous situation at 47 for 4 in eight overs.
A stiff contest between bat and ball at Perth
Oh! What a contest it has been between the ball and the bat. Bowlers are holding sway with the ball moving and bouncing to make life difficult for the batters. That’s expected at Perth. Despite losing two wickets, India seemed to be in a good place after scoring 33 in the six powerplay overs. The fifth bowler, the spinner, will be key to keeping pressure on India. A lot will depend on Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav to put up a partnership.
Double strike by Proteas pacer Ngidi
After a cautious start, the Indian openers were waiting for the bowling change to turn the heat. It was Lungi Ngidi who got South Africa the breakthrough by dismissing skipper Rohit Sharma, and his miscued pull shot was caught by the bowler. The pacer struck again in the same over to get rid of out-of-form opener KL Rahul, caught at the slips. After 5 overs, India are 26/2.
Indian openers are blowing hot and cold
South African pacers have hit the right lengths to keep both Rohit Sharma and Rahul quiet. But when Rabada erred in his length, Rohit Sharma sent the ball sailing over the ropes to open India's scoreboard. Even KL Rahul started off with a six off Parnell. An exciting start and more to come. After three overs, India are 14/0.
Rohit Sharma wins toss and elects to bat
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has won the toss and elected to bat first on a good, bouncy surface at Perth. India have made one change: Axar Patel paving the way for Deepak Hooda to strengthen the Indian batting. South Africa have dropped chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi and brought in an extra pacer Lungi Ngidi.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh.
South Africa: Tamba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Rilee Rossouw, Tristan Stubbs, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi.
Preview: India have a slight edge against Proteas
Dubai: Perth is a pacers’ paradise, and India will face the famed South African fast bowlers in the third Group 2 match of the triple-header of the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday.
A victory today will be more or less seal the place in the next stage for both the teams, which adds extra incentive for both India and South Africa to emerge victorious.
India, however, have a slight edge over South Africa, who still have a few holes to plug in their team, especially the form of skipper Temba Bavuma.
The Indian batters will be targeting the spinners and hope that the Indian spinners restrict the key South African batters, Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw.
The first match between Pakistan and Netherlands clearly suggest that the pacers need to keep a back of length and the batters will be ready for the extra bounce.