After a commanding win in the first ODI in Durban, a confident Indian side took on a shaken South African side. Their star batsman AB de Villiers was ruled out of the first 3 ODIs and to add insult to the injury, the skipper Faf du Plessis also encountered a finger injury that will keep him out of the remainder of the ODI series as well as the T20Is.
The loss of their 2 best batsmen was a big blow and surprisingly, the 2-ODI old Aiden Markram was handed over the role of the captaincy. The Supersport Park, Centurion was the venue for the 2nd ODI of the series and the visitors carried on their domination.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and invited the Proteas to bat first. The Indian seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah made a terrific start as some tight lines kept the openers quiet. After the early jitters, Hashim Amla did manage to hit a few boundaries to get going but his stay in the middle was ended by Bhuvneshwar for 23 in the 10th over.
Quinton de Kock was having a torrid time as he struggled to find the timing. His misery at the crease was finished by the leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal for 20 off 36 balls as the hosts were down to 51/2 after 13 overs. Kuldeep Yadav was introduced into the attack in the next over and he struck twice in the space of 5 balls as Aiden Markram and David Miller failed to pick the spin.
At 51/4, Kohli made a shocking decision of bringing Hardik Pandya into the attack and the pressure eased up a little on JP Duminy and the debutant Khaya Zondo. A partnership of 48 seemed like providing stability to the innings but Chahal removed both the batsmen in a quick succession. The lower order offered very little resistance and the innings was curtailed for just 118 in the 33rd over which turned out to be South Africa’s lowest ODI score at home. Chahal ended up with 5 wickets while his spin-partner Kuldeep bagged 3.
A walk in the park for the batsmen
India’s chase began with Rohit Sharma striking a pull shot for six in the first over off Kagiso Rabada. The opener was then given out caught behind in the next over but a DRS saved him as he brushed his front pad with the bat that created the noise. He struck a couple of boundaries in the next over but his luck ran out soon as he was caught on the boundary by Morkel for 15 off Rabada’s bowling in the 4th over.
Shikhar Dhawan, who was merely a spectator until then, had captain Kohli for a company. The duo negotiated the new ball by mixing caution with the wind to take the score safely to 57/1 after 10 overs. Both the batsmen looked at ease and didn’t have any trouble whatsoever against the bowling line-up that looked highly clueless.
Dhawan brought up his half-century off 49 balls and as the score reached 117/1 after 19 overs and when just 2 runs were required for the victory, the umpires made a bizarre call of calling for the lunch break. The play was extended for 15 minutes earlier but the result didn’t arrive and as per the rules, the umpires had to take the players out. Kohli and everyone were shell-shocked by the decision but it had to be done by the rules.
The players had to come back and the inevitable happened ultimately. India went 2-0 up in the 6-ODI series and have their noses well in front. Every game from here is going to be ‘do or die’ for the Proteas as another loss would shut the doors of a series win for them.
India won the toss and opted to bowl first
South Africa: 118/10 in 32.2 overs
JP Duminy 25, Khaya Zondo 25
Yuzvendra Chahal 22/5, Kuldeep Yadav 20/3
India: 119/1 in 20.3 overs
Shikhar Dhawan 51*, Virat Kohli 46*
Kagiso Rabada 24/1
India won by 9 wickets
Player of the Match: Yuzvendra Chahal
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