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Reeza Hendricks and Tabraiz Shamsi inspire comfortable Proteas T20I victory over India


South Africa sealed a comfortable five-wicket win over India in the second T20I at St George’s Park in Gqeberha on Tuesday evening. 

The Proteas clinched the rain-interrupted clash with seven balls to spare after brisk contributions by Reeza Hendricks (49 off 27) and captain Aiden Markram (30 off 17) to chase a revised total of 152 runs in 15 overs. 

Earlier in the day, before the rain interruption, Rinku Singh (68 not out from 39) and Suryakumar Yadav (56 off 36) struck half-centuries to help India to a competitive 180 for seven off 19.3 overs before the floodgates opened in Gqeberha. 

All of the Proteas’ bowlers went for more than nine runs to the over, except for the player of the match, Tabraiz Shamsi, who bowled his four overs for only 18 runs while picking up the important wicket of Yadav. 

The animated, left-arm unorthodox bowler’s spell was the difference between India reaching more than 200 and the 180 they ended up with. 

It was an important win for South Africa, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after the first T20I was rained out in Durban on Sunday.  

Reeza Hendricks of South Africa during the 2nd KFC T20 International match between South Africa and India at St George’s Park on 12 December 2023 in Gqeberha, South Africa. (Photo: Richard Huggard / Gallo Images / Getty Images)

On Tuesday, after play was halted for an hour because of the rain, South Africa got off to an electric start with Hendricks and Matthew Breetzke (16 off seven) racing to 38 runs in the first two overs. 

Breetzke’s exuberant approach was his undoing as he was run out attempting a second run despite being loudly sent back by Hendricks. 

Every South African batter that came in scored above the required run rate as Markram put up a swift 50-run partnership with Hendricks off 30 balls, ending the five-over powerplay with 67 runs. 

Markram struck a quickfire 30 that included a six off Mukesh Kumar that flew out of St George’s Park. He tried to smash the ball again the following delivery, but was tidily caught on the ropes by Mohammed Siraj. 

Markram’s dismissal initiated a mini collapse for South Africa, with Hendricks and Heinrich Klaasen (seven off five) both going out in the next two overs as three wickets fell for the addition of only 12 runs. 

Hendricks fell within one run of knocking his fourth half-century in six T20I matches. He struck eight fours and one massive six in his splendid innings. 

David Miller (17 off 12) and Tristan Stubbs (14 not out off 12) took the Proteas to within 13 of the required total before Andile Phehlukwayo knocked off 10 of them in four balls to seal the victory. 

Reeza Hendricks of South Africa leaves the field during the 2nd KFC T20 International match between South Africa and India at St George’s Park on 12 December 2023 in Gqeberha, South Africa. (Photo: Richard Huggard / Gallo Images)

Early breakthroughs 

At the start of the match, Markram elected to bowl first with cloud cover overhead and rain having fallen earlier in the day. 

It worked a treat as Marco Jansen struck in the opening over with an away swinger that Yashasvi Jaiswal clubbed straight to Miller at point. 

Lizaad Williams was in the action an over later, trapping the dangerous Shubman Gill LBW for a duck to leave India reeling on six runs for two wickets. 

Jansen, however, struggled with consistency with both his line and length and conceded 19 off his second over — all off the bat of Tilak Varma. 

The lanky left-armer conceded 39 runs in the three overs he bowled. 

Varma and captain Suryakumar Yadav peppered the erratic South African bowlers, putting on 49 runs in 24 deliveries before Gerald Coetzee got rid of Varma with the penultimate ball of the powerplay. 

India ended the powerplay on 59 for three. 

Yadav then teamed up with Singh and the pair put on 70 off 48 balls for the fourth wicket before Shamsi outfoxed the skipper with one slower through the air. 

Ravindra Jadeja (19 off 14) was the only Indian late-order hitter to get into double figures as the impressive Singh smashed the South Africans all over the park. His unbeaten half-century contained nine fours and two sixes, but it was in vain as South Africa’s batting was too strong. 

The Proteas take on India at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Thursday in the final T20I. DM

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