South Africa crush India by 5 wickets to top Group 2 in ICC T20 World Cup 2022

The Indian team had no answer to the persistent attacks from the South African side

South Africa won a thrilling low-scoring encounter against India at the Optus Stadium in Perth on Sunday night to go top of the Group 2 in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022, winning the clash by 5 wickets with only 2 balls to spare. 

David Miller and Aiden Markram were the stars of South Africa’s chase after their bowlers set up the platform for a victory over the Indian team on a pace-friendly and bouncy pitch on which most of the batsmen from either teams had a tough time. 

It was a day to forget for most of the Indian batting as they could not come up with any answer against searing pace and dangerous bounce created by South African bowlers, with plenty of their star batsmen including the in-form Virat Kohli failing to put up big scores. 

Indian vice-captain and opening batsman KL Rahul continued to have a horrid run in the middle with the bat, dismissed for 9 from 14 balls while captain Rohit Sharma made 15 and Virat Kohli could only manage 12 from 11 deliveries with the help of 2 boundaries.

It was largely due to an outstanding knock of 68 from 40 balls studded with 3 sixes and 6 boundaries from Suryakumar Yadav that India were able to get to a competitive total of 133/9 at the end of 20 overs, with no other batsmen able to really trouble the South African bowlers.

India played an extra batsman in the form of Deepak Hooda in the place of Akshar Patel but the batting all-rounder was handed a 3-ball duck by Anrich Nortje while Hardik Pandya could manage only 2 and Dinesh Karthik scored 6 in what turned out to be an off day collectively for the Indian batsmen, barring Suryakumar Yadav.

The world No 2 batsman in T20 internationals, Suryakumar Yadav had absolutely no troubles facing the menacing South African bowling attack against whom he played some outstanding strokes all around the park and displayed his mettle against hostile bowling. 

The right-handed middle-order batsmen showed no discomfort against pressure, something that will delight the Indian team management going further in the tournament with the team yet to seal a spot in the semi-finals.

Lungi Ngidi was the star performer for South Africa along with Wayne Parnell with the ball. The right on tall fast bowler Lungi Ngidi returned with 4-0-29-4, dismissing the likes of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya to record a very successful outing. 

On the other hand, Wayne Parnell was instrumental in getting rid of the other dangerous batsmen such as Suryakumar Yadav, Dinesh Karthik and Ravichandran Ashwin. The left-arm senior South African seam bowler produced a fine spell of 4-1-15-3, with his opening over against KL Rahul being a maiden. 

Against a moderate target, South Africa also had a poor start with Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw falling to Arshdeep Singh in the second over of the innings, with the in-form latter batsman being handed a second-ball duck after he had notched up centuries in the last two outings.

Temba Bavuma managed to get into double figures scoring 10 from 15 balls but he was dismissed by Mohammed Shami but this was when South Africa staged a remarkable comeback, riding on a superb stand of 76 runs for the fourth wicket between Aiden Markram and David Miller. 

While Aiden Markram took his time to settle in, David Miller displayed his array of strokes particularly against India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Aiden Markram finished at 52 from 41 balls with 6 boundaries and a six while David Miller was unbeaten on 59 from 46 balls, clobbering 3 sixes and 4 boundaries in the process and also hit the winning runs for the Proteas side.

For India, Arshdeep Singh was once again impressive returning with 4-0-25-2 but Mohammed Shami produced a measly spell of 4-0-13-1, giving away the majority of his runs only in the final over.

It was indeed a forgettable outing for the Indians in the field as after flopping with the bat, their senior players Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were not successful in the field with the latter dropping a sitter of Aiden Markram while Rohit Sharma also missing out a golden opportunity to run off the South African batsman when his partnership with David Miller had only started developing.

With one bad game out of the day, the Indian team will be determined to bounce back strongly on Wednesday when they face Bangladesh at the Adelaide Oval in an important match that could decide their qualification in the final four. The South African team will enjoy a few days rest before facing Pakistan — who are virtually out of the World Cup — at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on November 3.