An explosive knock from Heinrich Klaasen (81) powered South Africa to a four-wicket win over India in the second T20I of the five-match series at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Sunday. It was a poor day for India on the field as they could not do a lot with the bat on a difficult surface and despite Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s heroics in the powerplay, they could not sustain the momentum and gave Proteas a 2-0 lead. Chasing 149, South Africa got off a poor start. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar handed India some early momentum by dismissing opener Reeza Hendricks for just four in the first over of the match.
This brought all-rounder Dwaine Pretorious to the crease, sent for producing some big hits for his side. He could not carry on for long. After sending a Kumar delivery for four in the third over, the pacer got the last laugh as he dismissed Pretorious for four after the batter was caught by Avesh Khan at backward square leg.
This brought captain Temba Bavuma to the field. Dussen and Bevuma tried to rebuild things for their side, but they could not continue for long as Kumar sent a struggling Dussen back to the pavilion for 1 of 7 balls after dislodging his off stump. With this, Kumar took his third wicket, sinking Proteas to 29/3.
At the end of six over, SA was struggling at 29/3, with Bavuma (20*) and Heinrich Klaasen (0*). India had completely dominated the powerplay and by restricting the run flow and taking early wickets was able to gain early momentum.
Spin was introduced to the attack after the powerplay, with Yuzvendra Chahal there to bowl. Following this, Klaasen and Bavuma started to rebuild the innings after three early wickets. Klassen in particular attacked the Indian bowlers, smashing Chahal for a four and a six in the seventh over and Harshal for a six in the next.
At the end of 10 overs, South Africa stood at 57/3, with Bavuma (25*) and Klaasen (23*). The Proteas still had a mountain to climb as they needed 92 in the final ten overs with three of their batters gone. The duo continued to rebuild, getting 13 runs from the next over bowled by Hardik Pandya. The next over by Axar Patel proved to be expensive as Klassen hit him for 4,6,4. The over conceded 19 runs and also brought up a 50-run stand between the duo.
Chahal was welcomed by Bavuma with a four in the next over, but Chahal got the breakthrough at the very next ball, sending the skipper back to the pavilion for 35 of 30 balls. This hit at the middle stump also ended the 64-run stand between him and Klassen.
Next up was an in-form David Miller. Soon, Klaasen brought up his fourth T20I half-century in just 32 balls, his second against India. Klaasen continued doing great even after his fifty. Miller also joined the party, launching a huge six on Chahal’s delivery in the 16th over. Klaasen hit him with a couple more in the same over. Harshal Patel finally earned his side the wicket of Klassen in the final ball of the 17th over, dismissing him for 81 off 46.
But it was too late for India as only five were needed in the final three overs. Parnell was dismissed by Kumar in the final ball of the 18th over, his fourth of the match. The chase was finally over with Proteas at 149/6 in 18.2 overs with Miller (20*) and Rabada (0*).