After being put into bat first, India got off to a poor start as South Africa seamer Junior Dala got rid of Rohit Sharma in the very first over without the visitors getting off the mark in the second T20I played at SuperSport Park, Centurion. Shikhar Dhawan and India captain Virat Kohli went in quick succession as India found themselves in a spot of bother at 45 for 3. But Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni stitched together a 98-run fifth wicket stand that took India to 188 for 4 at the end of their stipulated overs. South Africa got over the line and levelled the three-match T20I series, thanks to a brilliant knock by Heinrich Klaasen who was well supported by skipper JP Duminy. The Proteas won the match by six wickets with eight balls to spare as the Indian bowlers struggled to come to terms with the wet conditions. Talking about India’s loss, skipper Kohli said that South Africa deserved to win and they expected them to show some fight.
“They deserve to win. We expect them to show some fight. They showed the passion which is needed to win games of cricket. They deserved to win tonight (Wednesday),” said Kohli in the post match presentation ceremony.
India lost wickets early on before Pandey and Dhoni got the visitors back on track. Whether 188 was a winning total or not, Kohli said, “Tough one for the bowlers. We were looking at 175 with the loss of early wickets. Manish and Raina batted well initially. Manish and MS were outstanding to get to 190. I thought that was a winning total.”
The constant drizzle didn’t help the Indian bowlers as they found it difficult to grip the ball but Kohli said that he was expecting the game to move on after play continued in the first innings when the drizzle arrived.
“The constant drizzle made it difficult from the 12th over onwards. Credit to the SA batsmen. Klaasen and Duminy really batted well. They were very positive. Good from the spectator point of view. You don’t want play to be stopped. Once the game was continued in the first innings, we knew it was going to be continued throughout. You don’t mind these things. We didn’t have problems with that. There was a constant drizzle, wasn’t too drastic at any stage. It was fine to play in. Not just the case with the short boundary, the ball travels here anyway. With the drizzle, the wicket settled down. The ball was difficult to grip too. They took calculated risks. They targeted the short boundary and it came off for them,” added Kohli.
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