Duminy, Klaasen take series to decider
New Delhi: Heinrich Klaasen smashed a stupendous 69 off 30 deliveries while skipper JP Duminy led from the front with an unbeaten 64 off 40 balls to hand South Africa the series-levelling victory at the Super Sports Park in Centurion on Wednesday.
The hosts won the encounter by 6 wickets and with 8 balls to spare.
The Indian bowlers, especially leg-spinner spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, found it difficult to grip the bowl with constant drizzle pouring in for the most part of the South African innings.
Chasing a tricky 189, Proteas made a decent start to their innings with openers Reeza Hendricks (26) and JJ Smuts(2) sharing 24 runs for the first wicket but Indian bowlers fought their way back into the game to reduce the hosts to 38 for 2 in 5 overs, dismissing both the openers.
However, Local boy Heinrich Klaasen and JP Duminy joined hands in the middle to stitch a 93-run stand for the 3rd wicket and they managed to do in just 49 balls.
The South Africa skipper played a second fiddle to Klaasen providing him with all support from the other end as the wicket-keeper batsman smashed 3 fours and as many as 7 sixes in his 40-ball inning in front of his home crowd.
Unadkat provided India with some hope after he got Klaasen caught behind in the 14th over but Duminy held his nerves and stitched another crucial and unconquered 48 runs with Farhan Beherdien for the 5th wicket and finish off the game in style.
Earlier, Manish Pandey and Mahendra Singh Dhoni slammed quickfire half-centuries to guide India to a challenging 188 for four.
While Pandey remained unbeaten on 79 off 48 balls, veteran Dhoni made 52 off 28 deliveries.
The duo shared 98 runs for the fifth wicket in just 9.2 overs to take India to the commanding total.
Sent into bat, India were dealt a severe blow in the first ball of the second over when Rohit Sharma was caught plumb in front of the wicket for a duck by Junior Dala (2/28).
But thereafter, Shikhar Dhawan (24 off 14) came to the party and clobbered Chris Morris for two fours and as many sixes in the third over to up the ante.
Raina (31 off 24) matched his partner stroke for stroke and hit right-arm pacer Dane Peterson for three boundaries in the next over to take India to 40 for one after four overs.
With his pacers going for runs, skipper Duminy brought himself on to the attack in the next over but was welcomed by Dhawan with an exquisite pull to the midwicket boundary.
Duminy, however, got his man on the next ball as Dhawan hit a full toss straight to Farhaan Behardien at mid-on.
India received a big blow in the next over when skipper Virat Kohli gloved a rising Dala delivery straight to Klaasen behind the stumps.
Thereafter, Raina and Pandey added quick 45 runs off 31 balls for the fourth wicket to take India forward.
But the dangerous-looking partnership was broken by Andile Phehlukwayo in the 11th over when he had Raina LBW.
After Raina's dismissal, Pandey and Dhoni mixed caution with aggression to take India forward.
The duo took time to settle down but once they got their eyes set, they clobbered the South African bowlers to all around the park.
While Pandey struck six boundaries and three sixes during his knock, Dhoni was not far behind his younger partner as he found the fence four times and over it thrice.