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T20I series: Hendricks, Markram power SA to 1-0 lead

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Gqeberha: Topline batsmen including Aiden Markram and Reeza Hendricks power game saw South Africa beat India by 5 wickets by DLS method in the second of the three-match T20I series at Saint George’s Park here on Tuesday.

South Africa lead the series 1-0 after the first game was washed out without a toss in Durban on Sunday.

Asked to bat first, India put on 180/7 in 19.3 overs before rain stopped play. When the play resumed, the target was revised to 152 in 15 overs.

Hendricks and Mathew Breetzke started off the chase in quick stead as they stitched 42 off 17 balls.

Breetzke was unfortunately runout for 16 off 7 balls with a six and a boundary, but the foundation was laid for Hendricks and Markram.

Markram walked in and began to belt the ball around with Hendricks going berserk at the other end as India bowlers were finding it difficult to grip the wet ball. They missed the mark and paid the price.

South Africa lost three wickets in a space of 12 runs, giving a glimmer of hope for India, but the India bowlers could not capitalise on it.

Tristan Stubbs (14*) and Andile Phehlukwayo (10*) held their nerves and took their side off to a convincing victory.

After winning the toss and opting to bowl, the hosts began on the right note with both openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill departing for a duck. But India staged a brilliant recovery courtesy a dominant middle-order performance with Suryakumar Yadav and Rinku Singh at the helm of affairs.

Rinku looked to struggle initially, but took his time to settle down and then launched an attack against the South African bowlers, scoring an exceptional 68 not out from 39 balls with 9 boundaries and 2 sixes.

Rinku stitched a very crucial 70 runs stand in quick time along with Suryakumar to push South Africa bowlers on the backfoot. He played some delightful and trademark hits. He smacked Marco Jansen for 17 runs, Andile Phehlukwayo for 15 and Lizaad Williams for 16, a testimony of the mood he was in.

Rinku continued with his free-wheeling shots even after losing Suryakumar and managed to score his maiden T20I half-century. One of the hits shattered the window panes of the media box, making a statement how dangerous he is in death.

Aiden Markram managed to prise out Jitesh Sharma, but paid the price bowling the 19th over as Rinku took him for consecutive sixes as he tried to cover up for his pacers who weren’t exactly on song.

Suryakumar smashed 56 off 36 balls, studded with 5 boundaries and 3 sixes to put South Africa bowlers out of the contest. The skipper launched an assault after India lost openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill for duck. He stitched a vital partnership with Tilak Varma who scored 29 off 20 balls.

Shamsi bowled well and deceived Suryakumar in flight for a mishit. Gerald Coetzee showed his class again with two wickets off two balls before the heavens opened up.

Brief Scores: India 180/7 in 19.3 overs (Rinku 68*, Suryakumar 56; Coetzee 3-32) lost to South Africa 154/5 in 13.5 overs (Hendricks 49; Mukesh 2-34) by 5 wickets (DLS)

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