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regular-article-logo Monday, 17 June 2024

India vs South Africa, 2nd ODI: Batters' flop show helps Proteas strike back

The series is now tied 1-1 with the final ODI to be played in Paarl on Thursday

Our Bureau And PTI Calcutta, Gqeberha (South Africa) Published 20.12.23, 09:19 AM
Man of the Match Tony de Zorzi during his unbeaten 119 against India in the second ODI at St George’s Park on Tuesday.

Man of the Match Tony de Zorzi during his unbeaten 119 against India in the second ODI at St George’s Park on Tuesday. Getty Images

Opener Sai Sudharsan and skipper KL Rahul smashed half-centuries, but South Africa fought back and were later clinical enough to thrash India by eight wickets in the second ODI at St George’s Park in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) on Tuesday.

The series is now tied 1-1 with the final ODI to be played in Paarl on Thursday.

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Sudharsan made a we­ll-compiled 83-ball 62 studded with seven boundaries and a six following an unbeaten fifty on debut last Sunday, while Rahul cracked a 64-ball 56 laced with seven hits to the fence as the duo added 68 runs for the third wicket.

But none of the other batters could make it count as South African bowlers forced their way back into the game with regular strikes. India couldn’t even bat their full quota of 50 overs and were all out for a modest 211 with 22 balls left in their innings.

In reply, Tony de Zorzi smashed an unbeaten 119 and also shared a 130-run stand with opening partner Reeza Hendricks (52) that had practically shut the door on India. The conditions became easier for batting in the second half as De Zorzi had no problems in dealing with the Indian attack that couldn’t make any inroads at all.

Only Arshdeep Singh and debutant Rinku Singh, who wasn’t too effective with the bat early on (scoring only 17), were amongst wickets as all the other bowlers looked more or less toothless. That helped De Zorzi to make merry as he hit nine boundaries and six maximums as the Proteas overhauled India’s total in just 42.3 overs.

India had hammered the hosts by eight wickets in the opening ODI. On Tuesday,
it was a fitting reply from South Africa.

Put in to bat, India found the going tough with South African seamers, especially Nandre Burger (3/30 in 10 overs), exploiting the pace and bounce on offer at the St George’s Park pitch to trouble the visitors. It certainly was a timely performance by the left-arm quick, who was roped in by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 50 lakh at the IPL auction in Dubai.

Ruturaj Gaikwad (4) was trapped in front in the second ball off Burger, but Sudharsan and was all class as he played his off-drives and pulls to put India back on track. After a watchful start, Ra­hul also got into his groove as Sudharsan and he brought up the team 100 in the 24th over.

Lizaad Williams then broke the 68-run stand, dismissing Sudharsan. Sanju Samson, thereafter, wasted yet another opportunity as India slipped to 136/4 in 32 overs.

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