South Africa banked on Heinrich Klaasen and skipper JP Duminy to crawl back in the series. South Africa defeated India by six wickets to level the series with one match still to go to.
Meanwhile batting first, India posted 188 runs on the scoreboard after a shaky start. Manish Pandey (79*) and MS Dhoni (52*) helped India go closer to the 200-run mark. The duo added 98 runs for the fifth wicket as South African bowlers found it tough to break the partnership. Dhoni was back to the finisher role scoring quick runs at the back while Pandey played a classical knock.
In reply, South Africa played an attacking game throughout. They targeted Yuzvendra Chahal, who had a rare off day in this tour. Duminy played the waiting game scoring 64 runs from 40 balls while Klaasen took the attack to the opposition. Klaasen departed scoring 69 runs off just 30 deliveries including seven mammoth sixes.
Further, Farhaan Behardien finished the game off scoring 16 runs off 10 balls with six wickets in hand.
Fancied my chances against Chahal:
Klaasen, who received the man-of-the-match award admitted that he decided to go after India’s leg-spinner Chahal.
“I fancy him [Chahal] quite a lot,” Klaasen said after the match. “When I was in amateur cricket, there were a couple of quality leggies in that time when I started my career. I faced Shaun von Berg at the Titans a lot as well. We always made a joke that I need to finish the other legspinner’s career so he can go up, sometimes it works. Tonight it worked perfectly. I just tried to cash in as much as possible,” the Pretoria born cricketer added.
“It wasn’t planned. But the way the seamers bowled, the cutters, they’ve got very, very good skills as I have said before, I just fancied my chances more against the leggie, had more options against him, so when I got the first two boundaries, I thought this is the over [13th over] I got to target. Maybe if I can get 20-odd in this over,” Klaasen mentioned further.
Duminy supported me throughout:
Klaasen further praised skipper JP Duminy for helping him out during the innings. Duminy came back strong from a poor series so far to guide his team through.
“He [Duminy] was the key factor to my whole innings. Second over or the first over I faced, he told me this over needs to go for 10. He told me to just play my normal game and take the bowlers on. Luckily today it worked out,” Klaasen stated.
Dew played a part:
The 26-year-old wicket-keeper batsman also noted that dew played a part in the latter half of the game. Further, he also credited the umpires to continue with the game. He also stated that the DLS target came to their mind.
“At the start, yes. I think credit must go to the umpires for keeping us out on the field. At some stage, it actually drizzled quite hard. The first five or six overs, we actually tried to keep up with Duckworth-Lewis. Luckily on the fifth or the sixth over, the drizzle stopped,” Klaasen said.
“I think dew plays a part. The rain actually caused the wicket to juice up a bit like the old SuperSport Park. It is just true bounce and nice pace on the bat and you if you get bat on the ball, the ball seems to fly quite a fair bit. So it is nice to bat on old SuperSport Park wicket if you can say like that. I think it is massively due to the dew that falls at night that changes the wicket completely,” Klaasen opined.
Pleased with my effort:
Klaasen also admitted that he is satisfied with his contribution in this short span. Meanwhile, Klaasen replaced regular gloveman Quinton de Kock, who was ruled with an injury midway in the ODI series. He chipped in with useful contribution both in ODI and T20I series when needed.
“If you look at Quinny [Quinton de Kock], AB [de Villiers] and Faf [du Plessis] and with Temba [Bavuma] coming back as well. They are world-class players. So, in some sort, to put my name on that list as well. It is definitely a very important stage of my career. But if this is my last game, the weekend one, so be it, I am happy with it. My dream is fulfilled. Now it becomes a job,” Klaasen concluded.
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