South Africa beat India by six wickets to draw level

NEW DELHI: A blistering 30-ball 69 from Heinrich Klaasen and a measured 40-ball 64* from captain JP Duminy helped South Africa hunt down 189 as they beat India by six wickets in Centurion to draw level at 1-1 in the three-match series on February 21.
Yuzvendra Chahal had a nightmare of a game as he bowled four wicketless overs for 64 runs – the most expensive spell by an Indian bowler – with Klaasen smoking five of his seven sixes off the leggie. It was his maiden T20I fifty in just his second game. Duminy, who finished the chase in style with back-to-back sixes and eight balls remaining, was a bit measured, taking quick singles to give strike to the on-song Klaasen. However, he did not miss out on the chances to score when there were runs on offer.
However, South Africa’s chase began on a slow note and when they lost opener JJ Smuts (2) in the fourth over, they had just 24 runs on the board. By the time, India were done with the Powerplay overs, the hosts lost their other opener, Reeze Hendricks (26), too.
Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni struck fifties each to fire India to what looked a decent total. Pandey scored a career-best 79 not out and a vintage Dhoni recorded his second half-century to remain unbeaten on 52.
The duo added 98 runs for the fifth wicket to negate the advantage South Africa seamers gave their team after they got rid of openers Rohit Sharma (0) and Shikhar Dhawan (24) and captain Virat Kohli (1) within the Powerplay overs. South Africa were off to a good start after their captain Duminy opted to field first under overcast conditions.
After Rohit fell for a golden duck, trapped lbw by Junior Dala off the first delivery of the second over, Dhawan clobbered Chris Morris for two sixes and two fours in one over. Suresh Raina, who again came to bat ahead of Kohli at no. 3, was in excellent touch as he punished Dane Paterson in his first over with three fours in four balls. However, Dhawan failed to put away a low full toss from JP Duminy to end up being caught at mid-on for 24 off 14. Kohli fell to a snorter from Dala as he edged one behind to walk back leaving India in a spot of bother at 45/3 in 5.3 overs.
From thereon, Pandey and Raina steered the innings forward. They saw off the nervy phase before Pandey shifted gears against spinner Tabraiz Shamsi in the 10th over, with a four and two consecutive sixes over deep midwicket region. However, Andile Phehlukwayo broke their association, trapping Raina lbw on 31 off 24. In walked MS Dhoni and after quiet 12th over, runs began flowing freely. Nobody was spared. Not even Dala who came for a second spell after his first two produced two wickets at the cost of just eight runs. Pandey struck him for two successive fours and Dhoni hammered Smuts over long-off for his first six.
Pandey reached his fifty off 33 deliveries while Dhoni cranked it up in the last over of the innings. He plundered 17 runs from the final over, bowled by Paterson to reach 50 off 27 deliveries. Together, the duo scored 64 runs off the final five overs with Paterson proving the most expensive of the seven bowlers Duminy put into operation tonight, leaking 51 from four overs. Dala finished with 2/28 from his four while Duminy and Phehlukwayo took a wicket each.
Brief Scores: South Africa 189/4 in 18.4 overs (Heinrich Klaasen 69, JP Duminy 64*; Jaydev Unadkat 2/42) beat India 188/4 (Manish Pandey 79*, MS Dhoni 52*; Junior Dala 2/28) by six wickets

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