Here, we look at the key talking points from Wednesday’s high-octane action.
INDIA’S ACTION-LADEN POWER-PLAY
It was a power-play that had everything, be it seam, swing, boundaries, wickets or maidens. First up, Junior Dala removed Rohit Sharma with a peach of an in-swinger on his very first delivery. He would then remove the in-form Virat Kohli with another snorter of a delivery which took the right-hander’s outside edge on the way to the wicket-keeper.
In between all of this, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina smashed a few to the fence before the former holed out to mid-on off the gentlest of full-tosses by JP Duminy. In the end, despite batting out two maiden overs, India ended up with 45 runs on the board in the power-play.
It is first time in T20Is that India have batted two maiden overs in the Powerplay. #RSAvInd
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) February 21, 2018
INDIA’S NEW GUNG-HO T20 APPROACH
India’s approach in T20Is in recent times has mirrored their ODI game where they look to build a steady foundation through their top-order before launching an all-out attack at the death. In this series however, there has been a noticeable change in tactics from the Men in Blue with the side now adopting a new mantra of going after the bowling from ball one.
This attitude was on display in the first T20I at the Wanderers and continued in Centurion where the batsmen kept attacking despite the loss of early wickets.
PANDEY REDEEMS HIMSELF WITH STYLISH FIFTY
At the Wanderers, Manish Pandey had struggled for timing in the death overs despite having been given the perfect set-up by India’s top order. He just couldn’t manage to find the boundary ropes as India ended up at least 20 runs short of what they should have really got.
On Wednesday, it was as if Pandey was making up for lost time as he registered a fine fifty laden with boundaries. He brought up his half-century off just 34 balls as he smashed some gigantic sixes.
NO HIDING PLACE FOR CHAHAL AS KLAASEN INFLICTS A HIDING
Heinrich Klaasen was promoted up the order after displaying a fearless brand of cricket in his previous outings. That same gutso was out in full force as he threw his hands at almost every delivery. He cleared the boundary ropes at will as he inflicted punishment on every bowler he faced.
No bowler suffered as greatly at his hands than Yuzvendra Chahal who was taken to the cleaners as Klaasen smashed him for four sixes. Ultimately, the wicketkeeper-batsman raced away to a 30-ball 69 notching up his maiden T20I fifty. Chahal, who just couldn’t find an answer to Klaasen’s onslaught, went for 63 runs in his four overs, conceding a whopping seven sixes to finish with the worst-ever figures for an Indian in T20Is.
Heinrich Klaasen vs Yuzvendra Chahal: (All formats)
Runs – 110
Balls – 74
Dismissals – 1
S/R – 148.65
Fours – 6
Sixes – 8#SAvIND
— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) February 21, 2018
Organisers of the T10 League have confirmed they will meet England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) officials next month about the possibility of hosting tournaments of the shortest format in the future.
The inaugural edition of the 10-overs-a-side competition in December proved to be a huge success with England ODI and T20 captain Eoin Morgan among the elite stars that played in front of more than 15,000 fans at Sharjah Stadium.
Shaji Ul-Mulk, chairman of the T10 League, confirmed there is now interest from England’s governing body as well as their West Indies counterparts to stage their own tournaments overseas.
“We are an initial stage of discussing with them,” said Ul-Mulk during Wednesday’s press conference at Dubai Marina. “We intend to have a meeting with them (ECB) in mid-March. The intention is to take T10 global.
“To be working with a powerful cricket board like the England Cricket Board will be another feather in our cap. It will be an independent league. The Sharjah league will continue in its own format.
“We also have discussions with West Indies board to take it to the US as well. The talks are in place. Whether we will be doing it in 2018 or 2019 is down to the matter of discussions.”
This year’s competition is set to be “two-and-a-half-times bigger” than 2017 when it returns in December. Not only has the tournament been extended from four to 10 days, there will be two more franchises with Ul-Mulk confirming there are six firm bids already being considered to buy one of them which has trebled from $400,000 to $1.2 million.
Organisers had little problem of attracting some of the sport’s biggest stars with Alex Hales, Darren Sammy and the majority of the Pakistan’s national players all featuring three months ago.
Ex-batsman Virender Sehwag was the only Indian to be involved but Ul-Mulk hopes that could change, confirming they are in talks with the BCCI.
“It’s a known fact all around the world that it’s only the IPL where they will allow their players to play,” said the Dubai-based businessman. “All other international leagues around the world do not have Indian players.
“We made T10 a success without the Indian players. So as far as the format of the league is concerned, it’s purely a South Asian league.
“We are in a country where there is a big cricket following. For us, we already proved that T10 cricket can be a success without the participation of the Indian players.
“But saying that, we are in dialogue with the BCCI and it is an on-going process. We are talking and that is an on-going process.”
In a must-win game for the hosts, the Proteas chased down India’s mammoth target of 189 with an over to spare in the end on the back of some explosive hitting by Heirich Klaasen.
Here, we look at the player ratings on a day where batsmen prospered at the SuperSport Park.
SHIKHAR DHAWAN – 6
The Indian opener has been on fire in the limited-overs clashes and he was looking supremely confident once again today before losing his wicket to probably the worst delivery of the match.
ROHIT SHARMA – 4
It was just not meant to be for India’s deputy skipper on Wednesday and Junior Dala produced an unplayable delivery in the very first ball he faced.
SURESH RAINA – 6
The left-hander, like Dhawan, was looking impressive an fluent in his short stay at the crease and he will be kicking himself for not cashing in after racing away to 31 off 24 deliveries.
VIRAT KOHLI – 4
It was a rare failure for the India skipper in what has been an extraordinary tour of South Africa personally. Like Rohit, he too was on the receiving end of an absolute peach of a delivery from Dala at the start of his innings.
MANISH PANDEY – 9
The middle-order batsman batted like a man possessed after struggling for boundaries in the previous match. He ensured India never lagged behind with their scoring rate and then formed a match-winning partnership with Dhoni on the way to an unbeaten 48-ball 79.
MS DHONI – 9
The former skipper was back to his very best with the bat as he rewound the clock to more explosive times. He smashed a quick-fire fifty in half as many deliveries as he gave the large contingent of Indian fans at Centurion their money’s worth as chants of ‘Dhoni, Dhoni’ rang around the stadium.
HARDIK PANDYA – 7
The all-rounder wasn’t required in the batting department and he more than held his own with the ball despite the result. He returned with figures of 1-31 off his quota of overs, a remarkable job in the context of the game.
BHUVNESHWAR KUMAR – 7
Like Pandya, Bhuvneshwar was excellent on his part and there can be no complaints over his bowling as he went for only run-a-ball in the three overs he threw down.
YUZVENDRA CHAHAL – 2
A night to forget for India’s leg-spinner who has had a wonderful limited-overs series otherwise. He just couldn’t cope with the onslaught delivered by Klaasen and went for a staggering 64 runs in his four overs while going wicket-less.
— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) February 21, 2018
SHARDUL THAKUR – 6
Thakur too was not too shabby and delivered an economical spell after replacing the injured Jasprit Bumrah. He finished with the same figures as Pandya. It was Chahal’s spell where India lost the game.
REEZA HENDRICKS – 6.5
The half-centurion from Wanderers stared in the same fashion as he scored some quick-fire runs at the top but he was unable to capitalise on his start this time around.
JON-JON SMUTS – 3
Hendrick’s opening partner simply could not come to terms with the pace of the pitch. As the dot balls piled up, so did the pressure and he was ultimately deceived by a slower delivery in the search of quick runs.
JP DUMINY – 9
The South Africa skipper played the perfect foil to Klaasen’s uber-aggressive innings, playing a steady and watchful hand as he kept the scoreboard ticking over.He took up the responsibility to see his side home and duly delivered, registering an assured fifty in the process.
HEINRICH KLAASEN – 10
The indisputable match-winner and how! He completely took apart the Indian bowling, being particularly punishing on Chahal whom he smashed for four sixes. A maiden T20I fifty was just reward for the wicket-keeper batsman who is making a mockery of Quinton de Kock’s absence through injury.
Brute power, ice cool temperament, hit good balls for sixes, seems to play spin well, Heinrich Klaasen is a real find for SA.#INDvsSAt20
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) February 21, 2018
DAVID MILLER – 4
The left-hander didn’t last long despite Klaasen getting the hosts to the verge of victory and skied an attempted pull into the hands of Thakur.
FARHAAN BEHARDIEN – 7
The middle-order batsman delivered where Miller failed by finishing the job for South Africa with a handy cameo towards the end.
ANDILE PHEHLUWAKYO – 7
The all-rounder was only required for his bowling duties and did well extremely well in delivering two quiet overs. He also picked up the crucial wicket of Raina.
TABREZ SHAMSI – 5
The leg-spinner bowled just two overs but was taken for runs as Pandey took a liking to his bowling. He conceded 24 runs in two overs and was quickly taken off the attack by Duminy.
JUNIOR DALA – 8
The young pacer was the pick of South Africa’s bowlers and he produced two absolutely unplayable deliveries on the day to dismiss Kohli and Rohit. He finished with excellent figures of 2-28 from his four overs.
CHRIS MORRIS – 5
The senior Proteas pacer started off with a maiden over but that was as good as it got for him. He went for 42 runs in his remaining three overs as Pandey and Dhoni went after him towards the death.
DON PATERSON – 4
It was another wretched day for the pacer who went for a lot of runs in the first T20I as he once again delivered an expensive spell. He was carted for 51 runs off his four overs and didn’t have the saving grace of picking up a wicket either.