Mohali, Sep 18 (IANS) Virat Kohli took a stunning catch to pour cold water on Quinton de Kock’s half century as India restricted South Africa to 149/5 in 20 overs in the second T20 international here on Wednesday.
After the first rubber was washed out without a ball being bowled, a new-look South African team were asked to bat first. Newly appointed captain de Kock got off to a flying start and brought up his fifty as the away side looked good after ten overs.
But Kohli showed why he is one of the best fielders in the world besides his unparallelled battting prowess with a magnificent catch running to his left from mid-off off Navdeep Saini’s bowling in the 12th over to change the tide of the game.
de Kock was gone for 52 off 37 balls, (8×4) as South Africa could never recover from the setback. In the last over, Andile Phehlukwayo (8 not out) and Dwaine Pretorius (10 not out) took 16 runs off Saini’s over to take them to near the 150-run mark.
Indian bowlers, led by Deepak Chahar who returned best figures of 2/22 did a good job to bowl a tight line and not let the batters free their arms post de Kock’s dismissal. Only 39 runs came off the last five overs.
de Kock was in the mood from the outset, hitting Navdeep Saini for three back-to-back fours in the third over.
The stumper-batsman smashed Deepak Chahar for a four in the first ball of the fourth over to signal his intent but his team suffered their first setback when Reeza Hendricks was taken at mid on by Washington Sundar off Chahar for just 6.
Debutant Temba Bavuma joined de Kock in the middle but it was the latter who was doing the bulk of the scoring as South Africa reached 39/1 at the end of Powerplay.
In the 10th over, Bavuma joined the act as he slapped comeback man Hardik Pandya for two successive fours through the deep point region.
At the halfway stage, the visitors were 78/1 and de Kock brought up his third T20 fifty in 35 deliveries before Kohli took the stunner of a catch off Saini in the 12th over to send his counterpart back to the hut.
Rassie van der Dussen (1) was caught and bowled by Jadeja but it was Kohli’s brilliant catch to remove de Kock that proved to be the turning point of South Africa’s innings as the scoring rate dropped despite Bavuma’s 49 from 43 balls.
Bavuma was one run short of his fifty when he holed out to Jadeja at mid-on off a Chahar slower ball.
David Miller’s 15-ball 18 ended in the 19th over just when his team needed him to go big.
South Africa played three debutants in Anrich Nortje and Bjorn Fortuin besides Bavuma.
Brief scores: South Africa 149/5 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 52, Temba Bavuma 49; Deepak Chahar 2/22) vs India