De Kock, Malan shine as South Africa secure ODI series victory over India

De Kock, Malan shine as South Africa secure ODI series victory over India

It was another disappointing outing for India in the second ODI at Paarl on Friday as South Africa romped to a comfortable 7-wicket win to seal the three-match series 2-0. Rishabh Pant scored a swashbuckling 85 off 71 to take India to 287 in the first innings, but half-centuries from the South African openers Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock helped the hosts comfortably complete a record run-chase at Boland Park with seven wickets to spare.

India’s new-ball bowling in ODI cricket has been a consistent issue since the 2019 World Cup, and the visitors struggled early on with the ball once again as Quinton de Kock came out flying from the blocks in their chase of 288. de Kock creamed two fours and a six to take 16 runs from Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s opening over and continued his onslaught against Ravichandran Ashwin – who was introduced inside the powerplay. 

De Kock was also offered a life when Rishabh Pant missed a stumping off Ashwin’s bowling, but the left-hander made the most of his reprieve, reaching his half-century in 36 balls. His opening partner – Janneman Malan – adopted the more cautious approach, acting as the perfect foil to de Kock’s pyrotechnics to reach a 66-ball half-century. India finally found the breakthrough after a 132-run stand between the openers, with Shardul Thakur trapping the keeper on his pads for 78, but Janneman Malan added another 80 runs alongside Temba Bavuma to take the game away from the visitors.

Although India managed to dismiss both set batters in consecutive overs, South Africa enjoyed an untroubled chase, with Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen scoring 37 not out each to take the Proteas home with 11 balls to spare.

Earlier in the day, the Indian openers got off to a steady start before the South African picked up the two quick wickets of Dhawan and Kohli to put the tourists on the backfoot. However, India immediately counterattacked through the blade of Rishabh Pant, who compensated for KL Rahul’s unusually sedate start to put the pressure back on the South Africans.

Rishabh Pant reached his fifty off 43 deliveries, and the left-hander cut loose against Tabraiz Shamsi, creaming three boundaries in an over. KL Rahul, at the other end, was handed three lives by South Africa, but continued to play the anchor’s role as the pair brought up their century partnership in 95 deliveries.

However, the captain was dismissed off a leading edge right after the drinks break, causing the Indian innings to derail, with the visitors collapsing from 179 for two to 207 for five. The Men in Blue slipped further when Venkatesh Iyer was dismissed with six overs to spare, but Shardul Thakur, once again came to the rescue at the death, adding 48 runs alongside R Ashwin to take India to a competitive total. The South African openers, though, ensured that it wasn’t enough.