IND v SA, 2nd T20I: Sizzling Suryakumar outshines whirlwind Miller century to give India series victory

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Mon, 03/10/2022
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IND v SA, 2nd T20I: Sizzling Suryakumar outshines whirlwind Miller century to give India series victory
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IANS

Rain was predicted to threaten to ruin the second Twenty20 International between South Africa and India at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. However, there was no sign of rain when the game took place. Instead, the game was a complete downpour of runs, with a total of 458 runs giving the spectators their money's worth.

However, much to the joy of the crowd, India's collective batting effort—led by a scorching 61 off only 22 balls from Suryakumar Yadav—and scoring a massive 237/3 were enough for them to win by 16 runs and claim the series with one game remaining.

In addition to Suryakumar, KL Rahul shined with a stunning 57 off just 28 balls, and Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Dinesh Karthik all contributed effectively to enjoy South Africa's routine bowling performance, with the exception of Keshav Maharaj's 2/23.

For South Africa, David Miller's quickfire second T20I century—106 not out off 47 balls—and a 174-run partnership with Quinton de Kock (69 not out) for the fourth wicket—off 90 balls—were not enough to make up for a sluggish start and preserve their perfect record of not having dropped a T20I series in India.

When Rahul hit a length ball from Kagiso Rabada for four between backward point and cover, India got off to a fast start. After Rahul casually flicked off his wrists to send a Wayne Parnell delivery over deep backward square leg for six, India's aggression increased in the fourth over.

Rohit flicked past fine leg to make it the second four of the over after Rahul sharply drew out a square shot off Parnell for four more on the very next ball. To end the power play at 57/0, Rohit and Rahul each smashed a four in the following two overs from Lungi Ngidi and Keshav Maharaj.

Rahul hit Anrich Nortje after the power play for a pair of sixes and a four over the goalie's head. With consecutive fours that cost 21 runs in the ninth over, Rohit increased the battering he was receiving. Maharaj broke the 96-run opening stand when Rohit pulled a slog-sweep to deep mid-wicket.

When Rahul danced down the pitch to hit Aiden Markram over long-on for six and brought up India's hundred in the process, he had reached his fifty in 24 balls. Rahul was caught lbw after failing to sweep Maharaj's skiddy delivery in the following over.

In order to keep the run-rate tempo up, Suryakumar sobbed and sliced through for fours in his first four balls. In the fifteenth over, he then completely destroyed Kagiso Rabada with a flick off the wrists that went for six over deep square leg and a loft that went for four over long-off. To get the full 22 runs from the over, a scoop-pull over fine leg was followed by a scooping flick over fine leg for six.

When Suryakumar hit a full toss off Ngidi over deep mid-wicket for six and a slice over third man for four, the devastation continued. With a spectacular uppercut over backward point for six on a no-ball from Parnell, he reached his fifty in 18 balls.

With a six and two fours off Parnell, followed by a four off Ngidi, Kohli entered the group of players who hit boundaries. After hitting a thunderous six over wide long-on to bring the partnership's century within the span of just 41 balls, Suryakumar was run out the very next ball. Before Karthik put the finishing touches on an impressive batting display by India with a four and two sixes in the penultimate over, Kohli struck two more fours.

In response, Arshdeep Singh dismissed Temba Bavuma and Rilee Rossouw in the series' second over for consecutive ducks. Markram took the initiative to lead South Africa's offensive, drawing crisply through mid-wicket while guiding and striking through the off-side with stunning beauty. But when Axar Patel got some dip to spin it away from his attempted cover drive and hit the top of off-stump, his promising innings came to an abrupt stop.

Miller hit two fours off Harshal Patel despite pressure on the scoring rate and a high necessary run rate. He hit Ashwin for two sixes in the following over before the over came to a conclusion with a four. In 25 balls, Miller got his fifty after hitting six off Arshdeep.

De Kock slammed Axar for two sixes and a four on three consecutive deliveries, breaking the constraints of determining the optimal moment. Miller proceeded to hit Harshal for two fours, and de Kock's better timing allowed him to reach fifty in just 39 balls.

After that, Miller wreaked havoc on Arshdeep, scoring 26 runs off the 19th over by hitting two sixes over deep mid-wicket, two fours over backward point, and two sixes that perfectly bisected long-on and deep mid-wicket.

Miller smashed back-to-back sixes over long-on and deep mid-wicket in the final over as India fielded with an extra fielder in the 30-yard circle to complete his century in 46 balls. De Kock ended the innings with a six over square leg, but South Africa was unable to secure the victory.

Brief Scores: India 237/3 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 61, KL Rahul 57; Keshav Maharaj 2/23) beat South Africa 221/3 in 20 overs (David Miller 106 not out, Quinton de Kock 69 not out; Arshdeep Singh 2/62, Axar Patel 1/53) by 16 runs