IND Vs SA: In a match between India and South Africa where hosts struggled a lot citing the sluggishness of the Barabati Stadium pitch, it was a Klass-apart madness by the South African keeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen.
Riding on his explosive hitting, Temba Bavuma and company took an impressive lead in the series against the blue army.
Replacing injured Quinton de Kock in the playing 11, the 30-year-old Pretoria star destroyed the clueless Indian bowling lineup with ease except for the veteran Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who returned with the remarkable figures of 4/13 in his full quota overs.
Chasing 149 on a two-paced surface, South Africa powered to a horrible start courtesy wonderful display of bowling by Bhuvneshwar who plucked 3 Proteas batters in the powerplay.
Klaasen then joined his skipper Temba Bavuma in the middle and takes on the Indian spinners in style smashing leggie Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel leaving a big question mark on the selectors and coach Dravid to assess their plans for the mission 2022 once again.
Keeper-batter amassed 81 runs in 46 deliveries which consists of 7 fours and 5 sixes and seemed ruthless against the Pant brigade.
He also stitched a 64-run stand with skipper and 51 runs with man-in-form David Miller who remained unbeaten on 20.
Temba Bavuma who kept nerves going fell after well made 35 providing a stage for others to push the Indian team on the backfoot.
After hammering a record of 211 runs in the first T20 International at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium, the Indian batting line-up had a steep decline in the very next match managing just 148 runs thanks to the slowish pitch and a disciplined bowling effort from the African bowlers.
Ishan Kishan once again had a good outing with the bat scoring 34 off 21 balls with Shreyas Iyer rooting his 5th consecutive 30+ score in the shortest format. Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant couldn’t score up to the expectations.
India was crawling at 112/6 after 17 overs when Dinesh Karthik (30* off 21) decided to roll once again repeating his heroics done for Royal Challengers Bangalore, striking heavily at the end and setting up a respectable total for India. Nevertheless, it became void against the Klaasen’s classy knock.