Virat Kohli scored a brilliant half century after a disciplined show from the bowlers as India defeated South Africa by seven wickets in the second T20I encounter in Mohali on Wednesday. This was the first win for India against the Proteas in T20Is on home soil. The teams met each other twice in 2015 when South Africa visited India and the visitors were victorious on both occasions. However, that was not the case on Wednesday as India dominated proceedings from the very beginning and were able to clinch the encounter with an over to spare.
Quinton de Kock made his debut as South Africa’s Twenty20 captain as they explore leadership options before the 20-overs World Cup next year. The left-hander top-scored with 52 and Temba Bavuma contributed 49 but the subsequent South African batsmen could not capitalise on the decent start.
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Deepak Chahar drew first blood when he dismissed Reeza Hendricks for six after Kohli won the toss and elected to field. De Kock and Bavuma helped South Africa overcome the early setback with a fluent partnership.
De Kock raced to his fifty before Kohli produced a magnificent piece of fielding, running to his left from mid-off to take a tumbling one-handed catch and send back the skipper.Ravindra Jadeja caught Rassie van der Dussen off his own bowling to peg back South Africa who found boundaries hard to come by.
Bavuma, making his Twenty20 debut along with Anrich Nortje and Bjorn Fortuin, fell just short of his fifty, foxed by Chahar’s slower delivery. The touring side milked 16 runs of the final over but fell short of the 150-mark.
India’s chase got off to a fast start as Rohit Sharma greeted Nortje with two sixes in the debutant’s first over.
Andile Phehlukwayo dismissed Rohit before Kohli and Dhawan effectively killed off the contest, Kohli hitting three sixes in his 52-ball knock.The Indian cricket team skipper looked in tremendous form as he dominated the Proteas bowlers and along with Shreyas Iyer, he was able to clinch the game with six balls to go.
Bengaluru hosts the third and final match on Sunday before the teams clash in a three-test series next month.
(With agency inputs)