Aiden Markram and Reeza Hendricks slammed impressive fifties, but a late fightback from India meant South Africa were restricted to posting 278/7 in their 50 overs in the second ODI at the JSCA International Stadium on Sunday.
Electing to bat first, Markram (79 off 89 balls) and Hendricks (74 off 76 balls) stitched a run-a-ball 129-run stand for the third wicket. But after the duo fell, India’s bowlers, led by Mohammed Siraj’s 3/38, executed slower balls and straighter lines to perfection to keep South Africa to two runs below 280.
Quinton de Kock began the innings with a glorious straight drive off Siraj for four. But Siraj had the last laugh in the third over as de Kock dragged a full and wide delivery to his stumps. Janneman Malan and Hendricks hit five eye-pleasing boundaries between themselves in the next three overs, before the former was trapped lbw by debutant Shahbaz Ahmed to become the first international wicket of the left-arm spinner.
Hendricks and Markram took time to settle in before the duo took a four each off Siraj through the leg-side in a ten-run 16th over. Markram, who survived an lbw shout off Kuldeep, scooped and brought out the drive twice to get three fours in as many overs.
Hendricks, on the other hand, lofted Washington Sundar over mid-off before whipping Shardul Thakur through mid-wicket to collect a brace of fours. After a magnificent inside-out drive over extra-cover off Kuldeep Yadav, Hendricks brought up his fourth ODI fifty.
Markram, meanwhile, grew in confidence by driving through the gaps consistently to get his half-century as well. The duo continued to hit fluent boundaries, rotating the strike and using their feet well before Siraj took out Hendricks on a length ball which he pulled straight to deep square leg.
Markram continued to find boundaries with his pristine timing while Heinrich Klaasen teed off with a four off Washington through backward square leg. He then pulled Shahbaz for a six over mid-wicket and took another four off Avesh Khan through the same shot. Klaasen danced down the pitch to smack Kuldeep over long-off before he holed out to running long-on off the left-arm wrist-spinner.
In the next over, Markram chipped a low delivery straight to extra cover off Washington. From there, India managed to make a comeback in the match as David Miller and Wayne Parnell were kept quiet though the left-hander lapped and hit Washington and Kuldeep to pick two fours.
With India drying up boundaries as 22 runs came from overs 43-46, Parnell was forced to go for the big hits but holed out to long-off off Shardul in the 47th over. Miller broke the 41-run boundary drought by smacking back-to-back fours — lofting over the bowler’s head and heaving through the square leg in the penultimate over. Siraj uprooted stand-in Keshav Maharaj’s off-stump in the final over as India conceded only 57 runs in the last ten overs for the loss of two wickets.
Brief scores: South Africa 278/7 in 50 overs (Aiden Markram 79, Reeza Hendricks 74; Mohammed Siraj 3/38, Shardul Thakur 1/36) against India