While Surya’s 68 off 40 balls will easily qualify as one of the most accomplished knocks in adverse conditions, India’s defense of a subpar total of 133 for 9 was always going to be a challenge.
Scorecard | As it happened | Points Table
Arshdeep Singhthe lion-heart left-poorer, built another dream first magic but Aiden Markram (52 from 41 balls) and David Miller (59 not out from 46 balls), one of the best T20 finishers in the game, ensured the target was achieved in 19.4 overs.
While South Africa (5 points 3 matches) are now top of group 2, India (4 points from 3 matches) are well within striking distance of with upcoming matches against Bangladesh (November 2 in Adelaide) and Zimbabwe (November 6 in Melbourne) a semi-final berth.
The team that might pay the price for India’s defeat is Pakistan, who now have an uphill task ahead of them.
A thrilling win for South Africa and it takes them to the top of the table in Group 2 💪#INDvSA | #T20World Cup Tournament | 📝… https://t.co/newKaFsKgs
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) 1667140872000
India made a game of it on the tournament’s toughest pitch in chilly conditions, but Virat Kohli’s costly miss from Markram at deep mid-wicket off Ravichandran Ashwin’s bowling, in addition to a couple of near run-out chances, cost India came.
But certainly no more than inept performance of top order except Surya, who was once again the saving grace and shining light.
Curiously, while watching the match with writers in the press box, former India head coach Ravi Shastri said that the 14th over bowled by Ashwin will be make-or-break. Markram and Miller hit a six each and 17 came off which sealed India’s fate.
Ashwin (1/43 in 4 overs) lost his confidence after the catch and it showed in subsequent overs as Miller devoured his length deliveries.
But if there was one silver lining from the match, it had to be Surya, whose little gem in terms of pure impact would have been on par with Virat Kohli’s brilliance at the MCG.
Perhaps the world’s most decorated T20I batsman in recent times, Surya hit a six and a bowler’s back drive boundary Lungi Ngidi completing his half century will be remembered for times to come.
His knock will be in ICC’s T20 ‘Hall Of Fame’ and how he looked like a batsman from another planet was evident with the second best score of 15.
Those were the only boundaries scored by Ngidi, who enjoyed a superb night with figures of 4 for 29 that exposed the weaknesses of the Indian top order when there is pace off the track and the ball starts to pitch from behind .
On a track that required good technique and steely temperament, Surya added another component to it – swagger.
For a fiery spell that broke the back of India’s batting order, Lungi Ngidi is the @aramco POTM 👏 https://t.co/AlLSeuHKZV
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) 1667141202000
At 49 for 5, India looked deep in the barrel as some of the top-order players failed to get their bats in time as the ball reached the keeper’s gloves.
In a stand of 52, he shielded veteran Dinesh Karthik (6 off 15 balls), who is not exactly known for sound technique on bowler-friendly pitches.
On a jump course, the key element is shuffling and getting within the line of deliveries and riding the bounce. The Mumbaikar did exactly that again and again on Sunday night.
He did not try to counter the pass but mostly used it to play behind the square. When lone spinner Keshav Maharaj came into action, he used the extra bounce to first play the late cut and then a round sweep over deep fine leg for a maximum.
Rohit Sharma’s (15) decision to bat first on a gritty deck looked brave and while all eyes were on Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, it was reserve pacer Ngidi who did most of the damage.
But it all started when an out-of-form KL Rahul (9 off 14 balls) played a maiden over from Wayne Parnell’s bowling. The windy and cold conditions helped Parnell bowl it full and get enough deviation to beat Rahul’s bat several times.
This increased the pressure on captain Rohit, who first tried to relieve pressure with a hook six and kicked the boundary off Rabada, but Ngidi bowled the ‘heavy ball’ which was bowled back of length and on climbed him.
His poor run continued as the length of the Test match, shadow movement and extra bounce outside the off-stump became his undoing.
Virat Kohli (12) had first low score in the tournament.
It was Surya who saved India from blushing with a knock that had six fours and three sixes but could not save the night.