Lungi Ngidi takes four wickets before David Miller and Aiden Markram score half-centuries as South Africa inflict first T20 World Cup defeat on India and move top of Super 12 Group 2; Suryakumar Yadav’s fifty in vain for India as Proteas prevail with two balls to spare.
David Miller hit an unbeaten half-century and the winning runs after Aiden Markram punished India’s fielding errors as South Africa won a seesaw fixture in Perth by five wickets to move top of Group 2 in the T20 World Cup Super 12s.
Markram (52 off 41) was dropped by Virat Kohli at deep midwicket on 35, while he would have been run out one run later had India skipper Rohit Sharma not missed the stumps from close range.
Markram holed out in the 16th over with South Africa needing a further 34 runs from 27 balls to top India’s 133-9, with his dismissal ending a fourth-wicket stand of 76 from 60 balls with Miller (59no off 46) after the Proteas had been 24-3 in the sixth over.
But Miller guided his side home, relieving some of the pressure when he boomed Ravichandran Ashwin for back-to-back sixes in the 18th over and then hitting the victory-clinching runs off Bhuvneshwar Kumar from the fourth ball of the final over.
South Africa needed six from six balls at the start of the 20th over but a dot and a Wayne Parnell single were followed by Miller gloving a short ball down the leg-side for four before chopping the next over cover.
South Africa’s win leaves them unbeaten and on five points from three games – their other results were a rain-off against Zimbabwe and a 104-run demolition of Bangladesh – with India in second spot after suffering their first defeat of the campaign, having started with wins over Pakistan and Netherlands.
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South Africa’s win unhelpful for Pakistan
South Africa’s victory was bad news for Pakistan’s chances of reaching the semi-finals.
Their hopes will be over if they lose to South Africa in Sydney on Thursday but even if Babar Azam’s men beat the Proteas and Bangladesh to take their haul to six points, that will not be enough if India defeat Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and South Africa knock off Netherlands in their final match.
Sunday’s clash at Optus Stadium was a real oscillating affair, with India sinking to 49-5 inside nine overs – Lungi Ngidi (4-29) dismissing the illustrious quartet of Rohit (15), KL Rahul (9), Kohli (12) and Hardik Pandya (2) – before Suryakumar Yadav’s 68 from 40 balls propelled his side to a working total.
In South Africa’s reply, left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh dismissed Quinton de Kock (1) from the first ball of the second over and then trapped Rileee Rossouw lbw two balls later after a successful review as he inflicted a duck on a player who had scored centuries in his last two T20 international innings, against Bangladesh on Thursday and previously against India on October 4.
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South Africa captain Temba Bavuma’s struggles continued when he snicked Mohammed Shami behind at the end of the powerplay to fall for 10 from 15 balls and the Proteas were 40-3 after 10 overs, needing a further 94 from 60 deliveries at that point.
However, Markram and Miller started finding the fence after drinks and although Markram and Tristan Stubbs (6) departed in the death overs, South Africa triumphed.
Ngidi shreds India’s top order
Ngidi played a huge role in South Africa’s victory, starting by dismissing India openers Rohit and Rahul in the fifth over, catching Rohit off his own bowling before having Rahul pouched at slip by Markram.
Kohli came in at No 3 and looked very much like a man with successive fifties against Pakistan and Netherlands under his belt as he drove Ngidi through extra-cover and then clipped him through midwicket for back-to-back fours at the start of the seventh over.
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But Kohli was bounced out by Ngidi three deliveries later as Kagiso Rabada pouched at deep fine leg, and it was a similar scenario in the ninth over when Rabada pulled off a brilliant diving catch in that spot after Hardik pulled an Ngidi short ball in his direction.
With Deepak Hooda (0) having snicked Anrich Nortje behind in the eighth, India were now five down before reaching fifty – but Suryakumar then shone, with his sparkling innings including a trademark flicked six off his pads and over the leg-side.
Suryakumar utterly dominated his sixth-wicket stand of 52 from 40 balls with Dinesh Karthik – Karthik contributing just six from 15 balls – before he was caught off a slower ball from Parnell in the penultimate over.
For a long while it looked like Suryakumar would be on the winning side but his knock ultimately came in vain.
India play Bangladesh in Adelaide on Wednesday (8am UK time), before South Africa face Pakistan in Sydney on Thursday (8am UK time)..