Van der Dussen, star of Miller in South Africa’s most successful pursuit

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Their unbroken 131-run partnership for the fourth wicket flattens India as the visitors go up 1-0; Kishan’s 48-ball 76 goes in vain for the hosts

Their unbroken 131-run partnership for the fourth wicket flattens India as the visitors go up 1-0; Kishan’s 48-ball 76 goes in vain for the hosts

When South Africa watched India’s 211 for four, just 18 times in the T20I, teams went after goals of 200 or more.

In front of the crowded stands at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Thursday, David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen lifted a winning stand of 131 and made it the 19th chance by winning Africa’s sixth highest and biggest chase from South.

David Miller.

David Miller. | Photo credit: RV Moorthy

South Africa’s pursuit gathered momentum when the dangerous Miller and van der Dussen collected 33 runs in two overs – from Harshal Patel and Axar Patel – to make it 125 for three after 13 overs and did not never looked back.

Needing 64 from 30 deliveries, decisive blows followed as 22 runs in succession from Harshal and Bhuveshwar Kumar and soon South Africa were over the line with seven wickets and five deliveries to spare.

If India slipped to the threshold of a world record setting 13th consecutive victory, it was because of the inability of the bowlers to rise to the challenge.

After Shreyas Iyer dropped a regulation catch from van der Dussen at 29, the batter broke his next 46 carries on just 15 balls to remain undefeated on 75. In contrast, after a 50 from 22 balls, Miller leveled off for an undefeated 64.

Earlier, India ran at 211, thanks to Ishan Kishan’s calculated assault, Shreyas Iyer’s measured stroke game and Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya’s final shot, who added 46 balls from 18.

Kishan impressed as he gained confidence to finish with 76 of 48 deliveries. The southpaw, after hitting three sixes and 11 fours, finished 13th.

A delivery after an exam saved him from a late decision, Kishan failed to clear for a long time. It was similar to how his opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad went down. A delivery after a Ruturaj shot burst through Pretorius’ reverse cut and cleared the ropes, a miss was easily taken by Bavuma at half wicket.

Shreyas produced a 27-ball 36 but the momentum was provided by the flamboyant duo of Pant and Hardik. Pant, who lost his balance and tripped more than once during his flashy innings, held the scoreboard with two sixes and as many fours.

But it was Hardik who offered wrist shots to send the ball over the center wicket limit more than once.

Hardik continued with his IPL form during his 31 unbeaten run to 12, with a well-timed six against Anrich Nortje being the pick. Overall, India’s stick performed well against a quality offense. If 51 points came in the PowerPlay, another 51 followed the next four. The next five produced 48 and the last five produced 61. The total of 211 wasn’t enough once Miller and van der Dussen got going.

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