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Inspired South Africa win series with seven-wicket victory over India

SA v IND, 2nd ODI, report

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South Africa eased to a comfortable win in the second ODI against India to add a richly-deserved 50-over series triumph to their victory in the Test series against the tourists.

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Some outstanding spin bowling from Tabraiz Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj and Aiden Markram helped restrict India to 287/6 in the first innings, despite a typically vibrant 85 from Rishabh Pant seemingly having set the away side up for a far bigger total.

Quinton de Kock set the standard in the chase with an early salvo that put the Proteas ahead of the required rate, with each of the South African top five contributing as they reached the target with 11 balls remaining.

Set a target of 288 to win the match and the series, De Kock got things off to a blistering start, racing to 20 off just 10 balls as Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s first over (the second of the innings) was slammed for 16 runs.

De Kock raced to his half-century having faced just 36 deliveries and, with Janneman Malan keeping things steady at the other end, the opening pair put on 132 for the first wicket to break the back of the chase.

India very nearly missed the opportunity to remove De Kock, with both KL Rahul and Pant taking some convincing to review an LBW shout when the left-hander missed a full toss from Shardul Thakur. But they did gamble on the review and the decision was overturned, sending De Kock back to the pavilion for a match-defining 78 off 66.

Temba Bavuma kept the momentum going, scoring at a run-a-ball for his 35 before sending a leading edge back to Yuzvendra Chahal. And Malan fell nine runs short of his century when the excellent Jasprit Bumrah returned to the attack and castled the opener’s stumps with a beauty.

South Africa still required 74 to win when Malan was sent packing, but had more than 14 overs in which to do so, and Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen made it look easy with a calm partnership that saw the Proteas across the line without the loss of a further wicket.

Both Markram and Van der Dussen finished unbeaten on 37, wrapping up a seven-wicket victory to win the series.

South Africa are 2-0 up with one to play
South Africa are 2-0 up with one to play

Earlier India had won the toss and opted to bat first in Paarl, and it looked like a good decision as Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan put on a composed 63 for the first wicket.

The loss of two quick-fire wickets – Dhawan for 29 and Virat Kohli for a five-ball duck – slowed India’s progress temporarily, but Pant soon picked the momentum up with a wonderful knock from number four.

Pant was in great form in Paarl
Pant was in great form in Paarl

With Rahul playing the anchor role at one end, Pant let fly, with the pair putting on 115 runs for the third wicket before Rahul fell for a steady 55.

The tourists looked set to rack up a big score with their in-form keeper at the crease, but Shamsi picked up the big wicket to send Pant packing for an 85 that featured 10 fours and a six.

And the spinner picked up his second soon after as Shreyas Iyer fell for 11.

De Kock was influential in both innings
De Kock was influential in both innings

India still had their eye on a big total, but a silky piece of wicketkeeping from De Kock did for Venkatesh Iyer, and the Proteas kept control of the rate as India added just 104 runs in the final 17.3 overs.

Shardul Thakur (40*) and Ravichandran Ashwin (25*) both finished unbeaten, but the total seemed short at the time and so it proved, with South Africa making the chase look easy to secure a famous series win.

The final match of the series will be held in Cape Town on 23 January.

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