SA v IND, 2nd ODI: Malan, de Kock fifties help South Africa clinch series win

Paarl, Jan 21 (IANS) Half-centuries by openers Janneman Malan (91 off 108) and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock (78 off 66) helped South Africa defeat India by seven wickets in the second ODI at Boland Park on Friday.

The win also means that South Africa go 2-0 up and clinch the ODI series with the final match at Cape Town on Sunday a dead rubber. After Rishabh Pant produced a career-best rear-guard act of 85 off 71 balls and KL Rahul contributed 55 and Shardul Thakur an unbeaten 40 to take India to 287/6, South Africa chased down the total with 11 balls to spare.

Chasing 288 on a scorching day in Paarl, South Africa were off to a scintillating start, collecting 66 runs in power-play. Out of those 66 runs, Quinton De Kock made 46 off just 32 balls. The left-hander was brutal on Bhuvneshwar Kumar, taking him for two boundaries and a six. De Kock then smashed Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin for boundaries followed by surviving a stumping chance off wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

To rub salt into the wounds, de Kock swept Ashwin over deep backward square-leg for a huge six before a sedate Janneman Malan reverse-swept the off-spinner for a boundary. The desperation to get a wicket was such that India even lost a review on an lbw decision against Malan.

Things started to look ominous for India as Malan and de Kock continued the run-flow for South Africa. The opening duo brought up the 100-run stand as de Kock easily pulled Kumar over deep mid-wicket and then swept Shardul Thakur over deep backward square leg.

Malan soon reached his fifty and on the very next ball, Thakur broke the 132-run partnership. De Kock missed a flick and was hit on pads by a full toss swinging in late. A confident India took the review and got to change the decision as replays showed the ball hitting the stumps.

Post de Kock’s fall, Malan took centre stage with a rollicking six over deep mid-wicket off Ashwin. With Temba Bavuma looking crisp, Malan brought out delightful short-arm jabs and reverse sweeps to keep South Africa in full control of the chase. Thakur came under attack in the 33rd over as Malan drove him through cover before Bavuma pulled over mid-wicket and glanced through fine leg as 14 runs came off it.

The 80-run stand for the second wicket was broken by Bumrah, whose length ball on middle stump beat the inner edge and hit the stumps after brush’ng past Malan’s right elbow, dismissing the right-hander nine runs short of his hundred. In the next over, Bavuma tried to flick but the leading edge popped back to Chahal.

Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen continued the run-making spree with boundaries through both sides of the wicket as India began to stare at a series loss. While van der Dussen took two boundaries off Ashwin in the 39th over, Markram scored back-to-back boundaries off Kumar through cover and deep square leg in the 44th over to bring up fifty of the partnership for the fourth wicket.

Markram and van der Dussen knocked off the remaining runs to seal a series win for South Africa and extend their winning run on the tour to four matches across formats.

Brief scores: India 287/6 in 50 overs (Rishabh Pant 85, KL Rahul 55; Tabraiz Shamsi 2/57, Aiden Markram 1/34) lost to South Africa 288/3 in 48.1 overs (Janneman Malan 91, Quinton de Kock 78; Jasprit Bumrah 1/37, Yuzvendra Chahal 1/47) by seven wickets



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