South Africa produced an impressive all-round display to beat India by 5 wickets in a Group 2 encounter at the T20 World Cup on Sunday. The Proteas suffered their first loss to India in the ongoing campaign as the Rohit Sharma-led side had beaten Pakistan and Zimbabwe in two matches. David Miller (59*) and Aiden Markram (52) shone with the bat, while Lungi Ngidi picked the bowlers as he took four wickets, including India’s top three, under immediate pressure.
After a bogey selection, India got off to a disastrous start as KL Rahul’s (9) disappointing form continued while Rohit Sharma (15) also failed to deliver. Virat Kohli, who had scored unbeaten half-centuries in the previous two matches of the tournament, managed just 12 and Deepak Hooda, India’s only change to replace Axar Patel, was dismissed without troubling the batsmen.
Suryakumar Yadav, however, was stuck at one end as Hardik Pandya (2) departed quickly; The 31-year-old batsman, who was on a 51-run stand with Dinesh Karthik, scored most of the runs before being dismissed in the last 6 overs in the partnership. Suryakumar played the key, scoring 68 off just 40 deliveries, hitting six fours and three sixes. Role in taking India’s score to 133/9 in 20 overs.
Among the South African bowlers, Lungi Ngidi took 4/29, while Wayne Parnell also took three wickets, conceding only 15.
South Africa also got off to a poor start to the run as they took two wickets early in the innings, with Quinton de Kock and Riley Rossouw dismissed by Arshdeep Singh inside three deliveries. Themba Bavuma also departed in the final over of the Powerplay before Aiden Markram and David Miller put on a match-winning partnership of 76 runs to take the game away from the Indian team.
Mistakes at critical moments added to India’s woes as Virat Kohli dropped an absolute boss in the 12th over of the game, handing Aiden Markram a lifeline on 35. In the next over, Rohit Sharma also missed a poor chance. Miller survived.
In the end, both players scored half-centuries, even as Markram was dismissed on 52, with Miller hitting two sixes off Ashwin’s 18th over before finally getting South Africa off the finish line and winning the final over against Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
With the win, South Africa moved to the top of the table with five points. And India is in second place with four points from three games.