Hello and welcome to Sportstar 's live coverage of the second T20I between India and South Africa at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
ALL OVER! Shreyas Iyer drills the ball down the ground for four and India completes the chase in exactly 19 overs, wins by 7 wickets. Virat Kohli finishes unbeaten on 72 off 52 balls, with Iyer remaining unbeaten on 16 off 14 balls. The victory was set up by the bowlers, but it was another masterclass in chasing down a target from the Indian captain. South Africa needs to step up with the bat and the ball to give itself a chance of levelling the series. Join us on Sunday for the third T20I.
IND 131/3 in 17 overs: A cover drive straight out of the textbook takes Virat Kohli to his half-century, his second in the last two matches for India. He's been in control since he walked out to the middle and the captain is taking the team home. Kagiso Rabada has been given the ball to try and prise out Kohli, but with just 19 required, South Africa needs India to do something reckless to create some panic.
IND 105/3 in 14 overs: India has lost a couple of wickets in quick succession and will be particularly disappointed with Rishabh Pant falling cheaply. It's an aerial shot that brings about his downfall. It was a short ball on leg-stump from Bjorn Fortuin and he tries to pull it away behind square, doesn't get enough bat on it and ends up spooning a simple catch to short fine leg. India remains in control of the chase, with Shreyas Iyer joining captain Virat Kohli in the middle.
WICKET! Another brilliant piece of fielding, this time it's David Miller, who's no stranger to spectacular fielding moments! Shikhar Dhawan lofts Tabraiz Shamsi straight and it seems destined to bounce once before crashing into the boundary hoardings. Miller makes tremendous ground from long-on, dives full stretch to his right and while in mid-air, clings onto the ball. That hit his palm flush and stuck! Dhawan was batting well, but is gone for a 31-ball 40. Rishabh Pant joins Virat Kohli in the middle.
IND 89/1 in 11 overs: Shikhar Dhawan slog sweeps debutant Bjorn Fortuin for six off the last ball of the 11th over, making it a big one and India marches on towards 150. South Africa desperately needs wickets, maybe two or three in quick succession, to claw itself back into the match. India's cruising. Tabraiz Shamsi continues.
IND 72/1 in 9 overs: Fifteen runs off the ninth over, which began with Virat Kohli playing an exquisite inside-out shot off Dwaine Pretorius for a six over wide long-off. Shikhar Dhawan followed that up with a lofted off-drive for four and the two batsmen find the gaps for three singles and a couple to make it a big over.
IND 51/1 in 7 overs: The powerplay produced 47 runs for the loss of Rohit Sharma's wicket. Andile Phehlukwayo has threatened the Indian batsmen the most. He's been deceptively quick and the ball has moved off the seam. For India, the tempo that Shikhar Dhawan maintains will be key. Virat Kohli, you suspect, will expect to bat through, so it's up to Dhawan and the batsman at the other end to be the aggressor. Left-arm chinaman spinner Tabraiz Shamsi comes into the attack.
IND 33/1 in 4 overs: Andile Phehlukwayo strikes in his first over, removes Rohit Sharma for 12. It was a straight, normal seam-up delivery and Rohit missed it playing across the line. He started walking even before the umpire put his finger up. India was cruising at 30 for no loss after three overs, and Phehlukwayo has provided South Africa the breakthrough. Virat Kohli has joined Shikhar Dhawan.
IND 21/0 in 2 overs: A couple of trademark Rohit Sharma pulls for six gets the Indian innings going! Both were off the front-foot. Presses forward as he normally does, picks the length up quickly and one clean swing of his bat, and the ball sails into the stands. Spectacular! Anrich Nortje was punished for bowling to Rohit's strengths: short and at the midriff, but take nothing away from Rohit for taking full advantage of them.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan walk out to begin India's chase of 150. Kagiso Rabada will bowl the first over. How the Indian openers approach the powerplay will be interesting: it's a relatively small target, but India has been guilty of not being aggressive early on and paid the price for it in the past, particularly when chasing.
SA 149/5 in 20 overs: The final over went for 16 runs, Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius punishing Navdeep Saini for bowling length and seam-up. However, the final four overs produced only 27 runs and it's been a good performance from the Indian bowlers to keep South Africa to less than 150.
WICKET! Hardik Pandya castles David Miller with an off-cutter. Miller tries to go across the line and deposit the ball over deep midwicket but he's through the shot too early and the ball hits top of middle stump. Again the change in pace doing the trick for an Indian bowler. Miller's out for a 15-ball 18. Andile Phehlukwayo is the new batsman in.
South Africa 129/4 in 18 overs: Just seven runs in the last two overs. Temba Bavuma struggled to up the ante and was dismissed trying to do so albeit with a well-disguised slower delivery from Deepak Chahar that the right-hander miscued to long-on. David Miller has struggled against the changes of pace from Navdeep Saini and Deepak Chahar, but India must be careful that the last two overs don't prove costly. Here comes Hardik Pandya.
WICKET! It's been the story of the evening so far: every time South Africa has threatened to pull away, India has responded by taking a wicket and keeping a lid on the scoring. Deepak Chahar removes Temba Bavuma with a slower delivery. Bavuma was early into the shot and the skier is taken comfortably by Ravindra Jadeja at long-on. Bavuma misses a fifty on his T20I debut, gone for 49. Dwaine Pretorius is the new batsman in.
SA 122/3 in 16 overs: David Miller's looking to shift gears after a few sighters. A beautiful inside-out lofted drive for six off Washington Sundar makes the 16th over a productive one for South Africa after a quiet 15th, which produced only five runs. South Africa has lost only three wickets and it needs a strong finish to the innings.
SA 105/3 in 14 overs: A good comeback from India as South Africa threatened to take control of the innings with Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma batting well in tandem. Krunal Pandya's been introduced into the attack and Virat Kohli must try to keep taking wickets to restrict South Africa. It's a nice time for India to sneak in a few tight overs as David Miller gets set.
WICKET! One brings two for India! Rassie Van Der Dussen is out caught and bowled by Ravindra Jadeja. Comes off the leading edge and it flies over the head of Jadeja, who gets two strong hands behind the ball and completes the catch. India is back in the match. South Africa 90 for three. David Miller is the new batsman in.
WICKET! WOW! What a stunning catch from Virat Kohli. He dived full stretch to his left and clings on with his left hand. Quinton de Kock reached his fifty and, trying to flat-bat Navdeep Saini over his head, falls immediately after, thanks in no small part to Kohli's brilliance on the field! The crowd was on its feet and in utter disbelief after the Indian captain completed the catch! De Kock falls for 52.
South Africa 78/1 in 10 overs: Another expensive over from Hardik Pandya, his second goes for 14 runs. Temba Bavuma again made him pay for being short and Hardik was cut for a two fours behind square on the offside. Bavuma has found his range and Quinton de Kock is scoring freely too. India need a couple of quick wickets to stem the run flow.
South Africa 55/1 in 8 overs: Hardik Pandya goes for 10 runs in his first over, with a pull for six from Temba Bavuma damaging what was otherwise a good over. Pandya got predictable with his length and the field was a giveaway that he was going to bowl short, into the pitch and try to exploit any sluggishness. Pandya finishes his first over with a bouncer that Bavuma tries to ramp over the wicketkeeper but doesn't manage to get bat to ball. Ravindra Jadeja continues and it's an important phase in the match.
South Africa 39/1 in 6 overs: Quinton de Kock has looked a class apart. He's batting on 33 off 22 balls and been severe on anything even fractionally full from the Indian seamers and spinners. In the last two overs, a couple of balls have gripped and come slowly off the surface and batting may get more challening as the ball gets older. Temba Bavuma, on debut, needs to get a move on. Ravindra Jadeja's into the attack.
South Africa 31/1 in 4 overs: Deepak Chahar gives India the breakthrough after an expensive third over, Navdeep Saini's first, which cost it 13 runs. Quinton de Kock is off to a start, batting on 25 off 12 balls. He's found the boundary five times, punishing the Indian bowlers for erring with their length. The wicket came at the right time for India, and Washington Sundar has come on to bowl his second over.
WICKET! Reeza Hendricks tries to go over the top off Deepak Chahar. The bat turns in his hand, the ball comes off the inside half and it's straight to Washington Sundar at mid-on. Gone for 6, South Africa 31 for one. Temba Bavuma is the new batsman in.
South Africa 11/0 in 2 overs: Washington Sundar and Deepak Chahar have bowled good first overs, and when they have offered a loose ball, Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks have taken full toll of it. Chahar is getting some swing, which is encouraging for him and India. Just the one over for Washington before Navdeep Saini's given his first over.
Off-spinner Washington Sundar, as he so often has done, has been given the first over. Reeza Hendricks, who's opening with captain Quinton de Kock, is on strike. HERE WE GO!
National anthem's done, and we are ready for start! We have had to wait an extra three days for the series to get underway, but hopefully, we'll get a good contest.
Navdeep Saini and Deepak Chahar play their first matches on Indian soil, and it should be interesting to see if Deepak, in particular, gets some swing under lights. Both teams are out for the national anthem and we are not far away from the start of play!
We are 15 minutes away from the start of play. Both teams have stacked their playing XIs with all-rounders; India has at least three genuine all-rounders (Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja), South Africa has three all-rounders too (Andile Phehlukwayo, Bjorn Fortuin and Dwaine Pretorius). Neither team is short of batting or bowling depth, and it promises to be a great match.
TOSS UPDATE: Quinton de Kock calls tails, it comes down head, and India captain Virat Kohli has won the toss, opts to field first.
India's playing XI: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini
South Africa playing XI: Quinton de Kock (c & wk), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Bjorn Fortuin, Andrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi
PITCH REPORT: Sunil Gavaskar, at the pitch report, says he'd bowl first. He's probably factoring in the dew that's possible as the evening progresses. He reckons, "The ball will come onto the bat, though a few dark patches on the pitch and the cracks suggest it might not be a belter."
The last Twenty20 International hosted by the PCA Stadium proved to be a thriller between India and Australia, which the former won thanks to Virat Kohli's brilliance with the bat. His tweet last week, with the photo of him on his haunches after securing the win sparked a social media frenzy and you can be rest assured that there's a bit of nostalgia in the Indian camp as well.
We are 10 minutes away from the toss. The weather is clear and we should have a scheduled start at 7pm.
If there is a change of mindset in India’s approach to T20 cricket, the start could well come across in Wednesday’s clash against South Africa.
For long, India has found it tough to justify its rather conventional approach to batting in the first 10-12 overs, keeping wickets for the back end-charge then going for broke.
Since Virat Kohli categorically stated that the depth of batting in any combination was going to be considered, it obviously allows the top-order to bat with more freedom.
The other day at Dharamshala, Kohli emphasised, “If all teams across the world are batting till No. 9, 10, why can’t we?” That in effect, compels the specialist bowlers to spend more time at the ‘nets’ with bat in their hands!
At the same time, it could help the international T20 careers of Ravindra Jadeja and Krunal Pandya, who have better batting credentials than Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Given the inexperience of this visiting team, playing on Indian pitches, spinners could prove a handful, especially the variety offered by leggie Rahul Chahar.
With this assumption, India has the luxury of going in with six bowling options, including three spinners. Pace-bowlers Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini and Hardik Pandya along with spinners Krunal Pandya or Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar and Rahul Chahar enhance India’s wicket-taking abilities.
In fact, South Africa’s wicketkeeper-captain Quinton de Kock should know Rahul’s worth since they turn up for Mumbai Indians. In the batting department, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant appear a certainty, with Hardik to follow.
What adds to the interest is South Africa’s preparedness to test the Indian batting might. In the squad of 14, South Africa has nine bowling options!
Much like India, South Africa is likely to go in with five specialist batsmen, three all-rounders and rest specialist bowlers. Looking at the top-order, India will look to cash in on the collective inexperience of Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen. Similarly, South African batsmen visualise exploiting the lack of experience of Indian bowlers.
With the sun shining brightly here, action is sure to begin in what is effectively a two-match series. In 2015, when South Africa last played a three-match T20 series, one match was rained off and India lost the other two.
Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri, with one eye on statistics, will be eager to return the favour this week.
The match will be streamed live on Hotstar.
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