In what came as a pleasant surprise for the Proteas fans, the hosts kept their hopes alive in the 3-match T20I series after registering a comfortable six wickets victory over India at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.

The victory was largely built on wonderful innings from the blade of Heinrich Klassen. In the end, it was skipper JP Duminy who finished off the job for the hosts.

After being out in to bat first, India posted a competitive total of 188/4 in the board. After a middle-order collapse, it was Manish Pandey and Mahendra Singh Dhoni who resurrected the innings from the 11th over onwards. Both played some wonderful shots. Dhoni, in particular, looked like his old self. On the other hand, Manish Pandey was also doing about his job in an unwavering manner.

While Pandey remained unbeaten on 78, Dhoni scored 52. Pandey’s innings was studded with 6 fours and 3 hits over the fence while Dhoni struck 4 fours and 3 sixes during his unbeaten knock. Even captain Kohli felt it was a match-winning total. However, the hosts had other plans. It was a sensational innings from Heinrich Klassen which turned the game on it’s head.

The wicket-keeper batsman smashed 3 fours and 7 sixes en route to 69 of 30 deliveries. It was his innings which gave Duminy confidence and he finished off the deal with a couple of consecutive sixes. It was a much-needed victory for the hosts. They will definitely look to seal the series especially after getting drubbed in the ODI series.

South Africa, Predicted XI, Centurion, India
South Africa batsman David Miller swipes during the fifth One Day International cricket match between South Africa and India at Saint George Park, in Port Elizabeth, on February 13, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

So with the 3rd and the deciding T20I coming up in a day’s time these are the tentative records which can be created during the encounter

1) Virat Kohli is 17 runs away from 2000 T20I runs

Virat Kohli (captain) of India celebrates his century, 100 runs during the 6th One Day International match between South Africa and India held at Supersport Park Cricket Ground in Centurion on the 16th Feb 2018 Photo by Ron Gaunt / BCCI / SPORTZPICS.
Virat Kohli (Credits: BCCI)

Kohli has been on a record-breaking spree in the ongoing limited-overs series against the Proteas. In the ODI series, he finished with 558 runs, the most by any batsmen in a bilateral ODI series. He has made batting look ridiculously easy. However, he had a couple of rare failures according to his standards in the 1st two T20I’s. He was dismissed by Tabraiz Shamsi for 27 in the opening encounter while Junior Dala got rid of him yesterday without bothering the scorers.

2) MS Dhoni is one catch away from 50 T20I catches

Dhoni has struggled to score quickly in recent times (Credits: BCCI)

The former skipper has done his job behind the stumps consistently. He struck his 2nd T20I fifty in the previous encounter. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 52 of 29 deliveries which included four fours and three sixes. Meanwhile, he has been a very talkative character behind the stumps. The stumper is always giving suggestions to his bowlers and controls the field placements especially in the inner circle.

3) David Miller is three sixes away from 50 T20I Sixes

Miller is a powerful striker of the ball. He can easily clear the ropes quite convincingly. The southpaw had a relatively below-par ODI series. He came good in one of the matches but has lacked the consistency. In the previous encounter, he was dismissed by Shardul Thakur. The southpaw will look to come good in the decider on Saturday.

4) If India wins this could be India’s first T20I series win over South Africa 

MS Dhoni of India and Virat Kohli (captain) of India talk tactics during the 6th One Day International match between South Africa and India held at Supersport Park Cricket Ground in Centurion on the 16th Feb 2018
Photo by Ron Gaunt / BCCI / SPORTZPICS

After registering first ever series victory in the ODI format, India will look to win their first ever T20I series against the Proteas. The Proteas won the last series in India by a 2-0 margin. They won the first two matches quite comprehensively, and the last match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata was washed out due to rain.

    A Cricket Freak and a Music Lover. Hearing the name of Sachin Tendulkar still gives him goosebumps and listening to Arjit Singh songs keeps him in the right space. Loves Revolving his life around cricket and music.

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