Centurion: Solid innings from South African batsman Heinrich Klassen and skipper J.P. Duminy blew India away, as the hosts handed the visitors a six-wicket defeat and levelled the T20 series 1-1 at the SuperSports Park here on Thursday.
With this win, South Africa remained alive in the series, with the third T20 match at Cape Town set to be the decider.
Earlier, the Proteas won the toss and sent India to bat first. The rain, which washed out the match between India Women and South Africa Women on Wednesday, threatened to play a dampener in this match.
South African pacer Junior Dala drew first blood for the hosts when he sent back opener Rohit Sharma for nought.
Thereafter, Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan steadied the innings and shared a 44-run partnership, before Duminy surprised Dhawan with a low full toss and miscued it to Farhaan Behardien at mid-on.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli too failed with the bat as he made just one run. Raina departed afterwards and the visitors were in a spot of bother at 90-4 after 11 overs.
However, Manish Pandey and wicket-keeper M.S. Dhoni shared a vital unbeaten 98-run partnership as they accelerated the scoring. Both Pandey and Dhoni brought up their second fifties respectively as they helped India to get a good score of 188-4 in 20 overs.
Chasing 189 to stay alive in the series, South Africa made a steady start to their innings. Opener Jon-Jon Smuts was dismissed for just one run, while Reeza Hendricks chipped in with 26, coupled with five fours.
The hosts were at 38-2 after five overs, when Klassen changed gears and launched an assault against the Indian bowlers. He was particularly harsh on spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who had an off-day with the ball and conceded 64 runs without any wicket in four overs.
It looked like Klassen would finish the match soon, amid the on and off rains. South Africa was ahead of the DLS par score as well.
After Klassen’s departure, Duminy ensured that there were no further hiccups in the innings and sealed the match with two sixes off pacer Jaydev Unadkat.
Klassen was declared the man of the match for his blistering 69 off 30 balls, laced with seven sixes and three fours.
On the other hand, Duminy remained unbeaten at 64 off 40 balls, coupled with four fours and three sixes.
The third T20 match will be played at the Newlands, Cape Town on Saturday. (ANI)