Home Sport Cricket Proteas ‘announce their arrival’ at T20 World Cup after win over India

Proteas ‘announce their arrival’ at T20 World Cup after win over India

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After Sunday’s win over India at the T20 World Cup in Perth, Australia, the Proteas are now firmly in the sights of every other team in the competition.

Proteas batsman David Miller celebrates after T20 World Cup win over India. Picture: Richard Wainwright/AAP

Johannesburg – Whatever drinks were consumed and words said at the drinks break halfway through the Proteas innings worked a treat as, powered by half centuries from Aiden Markram and David Miller, the men in green ensured a magnificent performance with the ball wasn’t wasted against India at a chilly Optus Stadium in Perth on Sunday.

Markram not out on 23 off 25 balls, emerged from the break transformed, and immediately started swinging hard at Hardik Pandya, taking two off the first ball, followed by a thick outside edge that went for four off the next and a total of 16 came off the 11th over.

The South African innings and the match changed. There were 39 runs scored in the next four overs, which included the brilliant Mohammad Shami conceding just three runs in the 13th, as South Africa took firm control.

There was a missed run out – the second time India had passed up an opportunity to run out Markram – and a dropped catch by Virat Kohli in that time, as the South African right-hander rode his luck but also showed crucial intent.

At the other end, Miller just bided his time. It was a classic display of composure from the Proteas’ most experienced T20 batter, who in 2022 has played with a level of intellect that perhaps previously he didn’t get enough credit for because he hit the ball so cleanly and powerfully.

On Sunday, Miller made sure that he just kept the scoreboard ticking initially, while Markram went wild, but then when the moment arose, he grasped it authoritatively.

His first boundary was scored off his 16th ball – a swivel pull in that 11th over from Hardik – his three sixes, were all straight blows off the spinner Ravi Ashwin, who found no purchase off the surface. Miller’s last three fours came in the final two overs, to seal the match for the Proteas.

It was cold and calculated brilliance, and he justifiably ended the match, with a drive over the covers, finishing on 59 not out off 46 balls.

Markram made 52 and although he had plenty of good fortune, the manner in which he changed the momentum was vital.

That fifth wicket partnership was worth 76 runs.

The match had been set up by the bowlers, with the selectors making the right choice in dropping Tabraiz Shamsi and recalling Lungi Ngidi.

With plenty of pace and bounce in the surface – forcing the wicketkeeper and slip, to stand on the edge of the inner ring – the Proteas quicks made merry, with Ngidi striking two important blows in his first over by dismissing both Indian openers, and then picking up the crucial wicket of Kohli for 12 with a bouncer that Kohli hooked to fine leg where Kagiso Rabada took an excellent catch running around the boundary.

The second of Rabada’s three catches was even better, as dived forward after sprinting in off the rope to dismiss Pandya.

Given the circumstances Suryakumar Yadav’s 68 off 40 balls with six fours and three sixes, was an exceptional effort – one of the knocks of the tournament. It balanced keeping the innings together, while a strike-rate of 170 showed how aggressive he remained.

But unlike Miller and Markram combining, Yadav found no help from his fellow batters. Ngidi finished as the most successful bowler with 4/29, but there was another excellent performance from the veteran Wayne Parnell who picked up 3/15, bowling 16 dot balls, including a first over maiden.

Asked afterwards if his side had put themselves into the ‘team of the tournament’ category, skipper Temba Bavuma, said quietly: “I don’t like hearing that.

“We didn’t come in here as favourites and we have enjoyed flying under the radar.”

After Sunday however South Africa is now firmly in the sights of every other team in the competition.

@shockerhess

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