South Africa beat India by six wickets in 17.1 overs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Twenty20 worldwide series.
Morkel, who was drafted into the XI in place of Marchant de Lange, took care of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5) and Axar Patel (9) as Tahir and Morris kept up the good work.
Imran Tahir (2-24) – on a hat-trick at one point – impressed with the ball while David Miller and AB de Villiers brilliantly affected two run-outs.
In the series opener, Rohit Sharmas maiden T20I century in an entertaining stroke-play along with Virat Kohlis 43 meant India could not have asked for more from their batsmen who posted their highest score of 199 against the South Africans.
Ambati Rayudu was then out for a duck, bowled by a Kagiso Rabada (1-18) full-toss, to leave India in tatters at 45-4 in the ninth. Sharma sent the first ball soaring over the ropes to bring up team’s 100 and in the third ball Kohli heaved him over deep mid-wicket to complete his 1000 T20 worldwide runs. Another googly accounted for Harbhajan in the very next ball and the scoreboard read 69/7. At the start, South Africa backed Faf du Plessis’s decision to field on a fresh pitch in Cuttack’s first-ever T20I with attacking bowling and sharp captaincy.
“For one guy to captain in all three formats becomes a bit tough to go from press conferences, to team selections and worry about your own performances”.
India opted for a three plus two seam-spin combination for the first game and barring off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin all the other bowlers conceded 10-plus runs an over.
South Africa are brilliant on the field as Miller catches Rohit short of the crease with a direct hit.
Two anti-terrorist squads are deployed in Cuttack for this India vs South Africa Second T20 match and covered with 150 closed circuit TV cameras, it is employed by R P, Sharma.
South Africa will have to contend with a backlash from India when they face off in the second Twenty20 global at Cuttack on Monday. We know they don’t seem to be so good against the spinners, however we’ve got accomplished a few against their batters.
Sharma’s sublime 66-ball 106 went in vain as the Proteas pulled off a thrilling victory in Friday’s match at Dharamsala, thanks largely to JP Duminy’s unbeaten 34-ball 68. No matter how much you scored, if you don’t win, your efforts are not counted, nothing really matters to me. “I think Axar is being rushed into worldwide cricket too soon”, he said.
Play eventually resumed after almost half an hour and South Africa lost a fourth wicket with the total 76 when Farhaan Behardien fell leg before to Patel. “He was ideal for us tonight in that middle role but I thought there was great variety in the first six overs”.