Heinrich Klaasen plundered 81 runs off 46 deliveries to help South Africa beat India by four wickets with almost two overs to spare in their second Twenty20 international on Sunday.
The Proteas took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
The wicketkeeper-batter’s innings, including seven boundaries and five sixes, turned the game after South Africa struggled against the new ball. The visitors finished at 149-6 in 18.2 overs in reply to India’s 148-6.
“Quinton de Kock told me that he has injured his wrist, so I got to know that I am playing yesterday,” Klaasen said. “It looked very difficult with the new ball, but I tried to target the spinners. I am glad it happened against India.”
Sent in to bat after losing the toss, India lost Ruturaj Gaikwad (1) in the first over. He was caught off Kagiso Rabada, who returned 1-15 in four overs.
Ishan Kishan (34 off 21) and Shreyas Iyer put on 45 runs for the second wicket. But it was a slow partnership, off 35 balls, on a tricky batting wicket.
Anrich Nortje (2-36) provided the breakthrough, with Kishan out caught.
Iyer top scored for India with 40 off 35 as South Africa’s bowlers squeezed the middle overs. He only added 20 runs with captain Rishabh Pant (5), who was caught off Keshav Maharaj (1-12).
Wayne Parnell bowled Hardik Pandya (9) before Iyer was caught behind off Dwaine Pretorius (1-40).
India was reduced to 98-5 in 13.5 overs before Dinesh Karthik steadied the innings with an unbeaten 30 from 21 balls, including two fours and two sixes, but it was still a sub-par total for India. Only three batters for India crossed 20.
In reply, South Africa was reduced to 29-3 in 5.3 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s burst of 3-10 in the powerplay overs pegged back the Proteas.
He bowled Reeza Hendricks (4) in the first over and Rassie van der Dussen (1) in the sixth. In between, Pretorius (4) holed out and was caught in the deep. Kumar finished with 4-13 off four overs.
Skipper Temba Bavuma held anchor with 35 off 30, while Klaasen eased the pressure with some fierce hitting.
South Africa reached 57-3 at the halfway stage but Bavuma released the pressure with three fours off Hardik (0-31).
Klaasen, who has played 29 T20s and 24 ODIs for South Africa but only one test match, took on the Indian spinners and brought up his half-century off 32 balls.
The duo added 64 runs off 41 balls for the fourth wicket before Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Bavuma.
Klaasen then combined with David Miller (20 not out) as the pair took 23 runs off Chahal’s 17th over to turn the game in South Africa’s favor.
“We were 10-15 runs short. We bowled well in the first few overs but after that we weren’t up to the mark,” Pant said. “In the second half we needed wickets but we couldn’t get them.”
South Africa won the series opener in Delhi by seven wickets and made two changes for the second game, with Klaasen and Reeza Hendricks coming in for Quinton de Kock and Tristan Stubbs.
The third T20 is at Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.