India skipper Virat Kohli led from the front once again, scoring an unbeaten ton as the hosts beat South Africa by seven wickets in the second T20I. With the first T20I washed out, India have now taken an unassailable lead in the three-match series.

Asked to bat first by Virat Kohli, South Africa finished their innings on a competitive total of 149 for 5. Skipper Quinton de Kock and debutant Temba Bavuma played impressive knocks but India managed to restrict the visitors to less than 150.

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Quinton de Kock, who was making his debut as T20I skipper, led from the front, scoring 52 from just 37 balls. Bavuma, on the other hand, struggled to play quickly but still managed to score 49. He, however, played 43 balls to collect those 49 runs. The game was Bavuma’s first limited-overs appearance for South Africa in almost two years.

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The Proteas struggled to end their innings strongly. India bowled well in the death overs, conceding only 24 runs in the final four. Pacer Deepak Chahar was pick of the bowler with two wickets for 22 runs from his four overs.

In reply, India chased down the total by losing just three wickets with one over remaining. Virat Kohli led the way by scoring 72.  Shikhar Dhawan and he added 61 runs for the second wicket after Rohit Sharma fell for just 12. Rishabh Pant once again failed to get going and was out for just four before Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer took the team home.

Speaking at the end of the game, Kohli recalled his famous knock against Australia in the semifinal of the 2016 T20 World Cup where too he had scored an unbeaten 50 at the same venue to take India home.

“You (Sanjay Manjrekar) reminded me of the best game of my T20 career. I got a bit of motivation from that. When you play like that and win a game for your team, it is always a good feeling. That night (2016 game vs AUS) was a revelation of how fit you can be on a cricket field. The pitch was very good and an outstanding effort from the bowlers to pull things back. As long as they show character in difficult situations, they are going to present a strong case for themselves in the future,” said Virat Kohli.

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When asked about the positives from the game, the India star said:

“Lot of positive signs for us and they’ll get many more games to prove their mettle. They are going in the right direction. The badge in front of my shirt – India – it is a pride to play for my country. Whatever it takes, whichever format, to get us across the line, I’ll do that. Adapting in different formats is nothing but a mindset of making your team win. If you want to win a game for your team, you will find a way. That’s the most important thing. I never think for myself, it’s always about what the team needs. Test cricket, one-day cricket … the will should be to win the game for your country.