IND v SA, 2nd T20I: Miller's whirlwind ton goes in vain as India clinch series with a 16-run win
Guwahati, October 2, 2022
David Miller hit a whirlwind second T20I century, but it went in vain as India clinched their first-ever T20I series win at home over South Africa with a 16-run victory in the second T20I at Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday.
After the collective batting effort led by fifties from Suryakumar Yadav and K. L. Rahul took India to 237/3, Miller hit an unbeaten, brilliant 106 off 47 balls, laced with eight fours and seven sixes, to also become the leading run-scorer for South Africa in T20Is.
He also shared a 174-run stand off 90 balls for the fourth wicket with Quinton de Kock (69 not out). But with de Kock struggling to break free early in the innings, South Africa fell short by 16 runs.
Arshdeep Singh had Temba Bavuma and Rilee Rossouw dismissed for successive ducks in his first over. While Bavuma was caught at mid-off, Rossouw's top-edge was taken by cover holding on to a juggling catch on the third attempt.
Aiden Markram stepped up to be the aggressor for South Africa, looking gorgeous in steering and punching through the off-side while pulling crisply through mid-wicket to take the visitors' to 45/2 in power-play.
His promising knock was cut short by Axar Patel, who got some dip to turn it away from Markram's attempted cover drive and hit the top of off-stump. From there, Axar and Ravichandran Ashwin continued to put a squeeze on the scoring and pushed the required run rate very high.
But Miller had other plans, taking successive boundaries off Harshal Patel. In the next over, he took two sixes off Ashwin before ending the over with a pulled four through square leg. After lofting flat over long-off for six off Arshdeep Singh, Miller reached his fifty in 25 balls.
De Kock broke the shackles of finding the ideal timing by slamming Axar Patel for two sixes and a four on three successive deliveries. Miller continued to take a brace of fours off Harshal while de Kock's improved timing saw him get his fifty in 39 balls.
Miller then unleashed carnage on Arshdeep, hitting sixes over deep mid-wicket twice while nailing fours through backward point and bisecting long-on and deep mid-wicket to perfection to take 26 runs off the 19th over.
With India fielding with an extra fielder in the 30-yard circle in the final over, Miller hit back-to-back sixes over long-on and deep mid-wicket to get his century in 46 balls. De Kock finished the innings with a six over square leg, but it was not enough for South Africa to avoid conceding the series to India.
Earlier, after India were put in to bat first, at the jam-packed stadium, Rahul sizzled with an eye-pleasing 57 of 28 balls, before Suryakumar brought out a full carnage of 360-degree shots to make 61 off just 22 balls.
Captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik played their parts well as India made merry and enthralled the fans by feasting on an ordinary bowling performance from South Africa, barring Keshav Maharaj's 2/23 in four overs.
India were off to a fiery start right from the word go when Rahul placed a length ball from Kagiso Rabada between backward point and cover for four. The aggression from India then upped in the fourth over when Rahul nonchalantly flicked off his wrists to send a Wayne Parnell delivery over deep backward square leg for six.
On the very next ball, Rahul crisply brought out square drive off Parnell for four more, before Rohit glanced through fine leg to make it the second four of the over. Rohit and Rahul took a four each in the next two overs off Lungi Ngidi and Keshav Maharaj to end the power-play at 57/0.
Post power-play, Rahul thumped Anrich Nortje all around the park, smacking him for a brace of sixes and a four over the keeper's head. Rohit increased the thrashing by taking successive boundaries in the ninth over costing 21 runs. The 96-run opening stand was broken by Maharaj when Rohit dragged a slog-sweep to deep mid-wicket.
Rahul reached his fifty in 24 balls when he danced down the pitch to smack Aiden Markram over long-on for six and brought up India's hundred in the process. In the next over, Rahul missed the sweep on a skiddy delivery from Maharaj and was trapped lbw.
Suryakumar swept and cut through for fours in his first four balls to maintain the run-rate tempo. He then took Kagiso Rabada to the cleaners in the 15th over - a flick off the wrists went for six over deep square leg, followed by loft over long-off for four. A scoop-pull over fine leg for four was followed by a scooping flick over fine leg for six to take 22 runs of the over.
Suryakumar's carnage continued when he slapped a full toss off Ngidi over deep mid-wicket for six and followed it up with a slice over third man for four. He brought up his fifty in 18 balls with a fantastic upper cut over backward point for six on a no-ball off Parnell.
Kohli joined the boundary hitting party with a six and two fours off Parnell, followed by a four off Ngidi. Suryakumar then brought the century of the partnership in just 41 balls with a cracking six over wide long-on, before being run out on the very next ball.
Kohli hit two more fours before Karthik applied the finishing touches with a four and two sixes in the final over to end a memorable batting show by India.
Brief scores: India 237/3 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 61, K.L Rahul 57; Keshav Maharaj 2/23) beat South Africa 221/3 in 20 overs (David Miller 106 not out, Quinton de Kock 69 not out; Arshdeep Sigh 2/62, Axar Patel 1/53) by 16 runs