The Indian team, with their winning spree at the moment, had to be beaten at Centurion in order to be treated with a thrilling finish at Cape Town. South Africa, did the same and in some style.
Losing the toss, it was the Indian team which put up an above par score of 190, thanks to contributions from Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni.
Unfortunately, their good work was overshadowed by Duminy and Klaasen. In the end, South Africa won the match comfortably by 6 wickets and keep the series alive at 1-1.
Let us look at the five game-changing moments from the match.
1. Dhawan-Raina dismissals
On tricky conditions up front, India lost the wicket of Rohit Sharma up front. The early dismissal of Hitman didn’t affect India’s run rate as both Dhawan and Raina looked to smash whatever in sight.
The two looked to repeat their heroics at Jo’Burg until their partnership was brought to an end. Dhawan gave an easy catch to mid-on off a full toss. India’s run machine, Virat Kohli, soon perished without troubling the scorers.
India was precariously placed after the loss of four major wickets after South Africa saw the back of a fluent Raina. The men in blue had 90 runs on board and had another 10 overs to consolidate and then accelerate.
2. Manish Pandey knock
After the sluggish knock at Jo’burg, many questioned Manish Pandey’s capabilities with the bat. Especially in high-scoring situations of T20 cricket.
However, his unbeaten knock of 79 off just 48 balls went on to show that Sunrisers Hyderabad latest entry just had an off-day at Wanderers.
Pandey smashed six sizzling boundaries and three huge maximums which took his strike rate to 162. Furthermore, he struck a priceless partnership of 98 runs along with MS Dhoni which took India to an above par total of 188.
3. MS Dhoni-blitzkrieg
MS Dhoni came in after the loss of Suresh Raina. Therefore, for the nth time in his career, the onus was on MS Dhoni to finish the innings for his side. MSD position in the team has been a centre of debate across the Indian cricketing fraternity.
Unlike his ODI knocks, MS Dhoni struck at a jaw-dropping strike rate of 182. MSD brought up his second century of T20I cricket with the help of his 28 ball 52. Seventeen of which came off the final five deliveries, to bring back one from the vault.
4. Klaasen Counter Attack
Chasing a daunting total of 190, the hosts had to constantly press the accelerator in order to chase down the required total. The hosts always had the eye towards the DLS scores with constant rains at Centurion.
After losing a couple of early wickets in the powerplay, South Africans yet again had their backs to the wall. This was one Heinrich Klaasen came to the middle and started to counter-attack.
Klaasen smashed a game-changing 30-ball 69, which took the South Africans way ahead of the required run-rate. Klaasen smashed 7 sixes in his innings against a hapless Indian attack.
5. JP Duminy’s Captain’s Knock
Before Klaasen’s fireworks, it was captain JP Duminy who started to counter-attack. After witnessing Klaasen going great guns, Duminy quickly took the backseat and let Klaasen play his game.
Duminy took over once South Africa lost Klaasen and Miller at the other end. Duminy flourished in the end with two massive sixes, seeing it through for his side with his knock of 64 which came of 40 balls.