No world record: South Africa halts India’s 12-match T20I winning run

India’s string of 12 consecutive T20I victories had begun in Abu Dhabi on November 3, 2021 during the ICC T20 World Cup. However, its quest for a world record 13th win was denied by Miller and van der Dassen.

David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen celebrate the win. Photo: BCCI

India failed to set a new world record in Twenty20 Internationals as its 12-match winning run in the format was halted by South Africa in the opener of the five-match series on Thursday (June 9).

South Africa achieved its highest T20I run-chase as it gunned down 212 with five balls and seven wickets remaining at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.

David Miller (64 not out off 31 balls; 4×4, 5×6) and Rassie van der Dussen (75 not out off 46; 7×4, 5×6) were the star performers for the visiting side. The duo put on an unbeaten 131 runs for the fourth wicket in just 10.3 overs.

Left-handed Miller, who was in great form for the champion side Gujarat Titans (GT) in the recently-concluded IPL 2022, continued his fine run with the bat.

India’s string of 12 consecutive T20I victories had begun in Abu Dhabi on November 3, 2021, during the ICC T20 World Cup. However, its quest for a world-record 13th win was denied by Miller and van der Dassen.

Dropped catch

South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma (10) and Quinton de Kock (22) were off to a flyer as they raced to 22/0 in the first two overs.

However, the ever-reliable Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a brilliant leg-cutter to dismiss Bavuma. Dwayne Pretorius (29 off 13) and de Kock then took leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and Hardik to the cleaners.

While Chahal gave away 16 runs, Hardik, whose return to bowling was highly anticipated ahead of the series, leaked 18 runs and was slammed for three sixes by Pretorius, including one that was 91m long.

Harshal Patel finally broke the partnership as he bamboozled Pretorius with a slow full toss. The Indian bowlers kept striking at regular intervals and limit the boundaries, slowing the proceedings.

But ‘Killer’ Miller had different ideas. Continuing his stellar run from the IPL, the southpaw smashed a total of three sixes and a couple of fours in the 12th and 13th over to get South Africa back in the game, while van der Dussen played the perfect second fiddle.

With 80 needed off the last six. Miller brought up his fifth T20I half-century.

India had the opportunity to break the dangerous partnership between Miller and van der Dussen but Shreyas Iyer was guilty of dropping the latter at deep midwicket on 29.

The drop cost India dearly as van der Dussen pummelled Harshal to submission. The South African hit three sixes and a four. After that, it was a six-hitting fest as both the batters hit five maximums each.

David Miller unleashes a big hit against India. Photo: BCCI

‘Had enough on the board’

“I think it’s a lot of hard work, have been understanding my game a lot better in the last four to five years. Rassie played phenomenally well at the back end,” Miller, who won the Player-of-the-match award, said.

“I was going to keep going and Rassie was to pierce the gap or find a boundary. It was about reducing the dot balls. It’s belief. I have been around for some time now but understanding and winning games give you a lot more confidence. Wherever I bat, I have always wanted to make a difference. No. 5 happens to be the place now. I have done well at No. 4 in domestic (cricket) but South Africa is a different story with world-class players. Happy to bat wherever,” he added.

India’s new skipper Rishabh Pant said the team had enough runs on the board but failed to execute their plans in the second innings.

“I think we had enough on the board but were off with our execution, but credit to the opposition. We thought the slower one was working when we were batting but it became easier in the second innings,” Pant said after the match.

Kishan dazzles

Earlier, Ishan Kishan struck a scintillating 76 off 48 balls before Pant and Hardik Pandya’s pyrotechnics propelled India to an imposing 211/4.

While Kishan dazzled at the top, Pant (29 off 16) and Pandya (31 not out 12) went ballistic in the slog overs, adding 46 runs to take India past 200.

India was off to a bright start after being asked to bat. The hosts plundered 13 runs off the first over with Kishan hitting back-to-back fours as South Africa skipper Bavuma opted to open with spinner Keshav Maharaj.

Rectifying his mistake, Bavuma bought pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada into the attack, who restricted the scoring, giving away two runs in the following over.

Ishan Kishan celebrates his half-century. Photo: BCCI

Kishan seemed to be struggling with Anrich Nortje’s pace but alongside Rituraj Gaikwad (23) kept on stealing boundaries and sixes with ease at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Gaikwad was dropped on 17 by Dwayne Pretorius in the beginning of the seventh over. However, the right-hander couldn’t capitalise on the reprieve as he was caught at midwicket by Bavuma off Wayne Parnell, who made a comeback to the South African side for the first time since 2017.

Sloppy SA

Kishan and new-man Iyer (36) continued to score runs at will as India raced to 100 runs in 9.4 overs.

The visitors also seemed a tad sloppy on the field, missing catches, and a stumping opportunity.

Iyer hit Tabraiz Shamsi for a couple of sixes over long-on.

Kishan brought up his third T20 fifty in style as he whacked Maharaj for a six over dip midwicket. In the groove, he then took the spinner to the cleaners in his next over launching the ball for back-to-back sixes before hitting two fours.

However, Maharaj finally redeemed himself as Ishan hit the length ball straight in the hands of David Miller at wide long-on. Iyer too departed soon after.

Captain Pant and his deputy Pandya, who returned to the side after leading his side Gujarat Titans to the IPL title, then hit a flurry of fours and sixes to provide the final flourish.

India’s run of 12 successive T20I wins before Thursday

  1. Beat Afghanistan by 66 runs (Abu Dhabi) – 3 November 2021 (Captain – Virat Kohli)
  2. Beat Scotland by 8 wickets (Dubai) – 5 Nov 2021 (Kohli)
  3. Beat Namibia by 9 wickets (Dubai) – 8 Nov 2021 (Kohli)
  4. Beat New Zealand by 5 wickets (Jaipur) – 17 Nov 2021 (Captain – Rohit Sharma)
  5. Beat New Zealand by 7 wickets (Ranchi) – 19 Nov 2021 (Rohit)
  6. Beat New Zealand by 73 runs (Kolkata) – 21 Nov 2021 (Rohit)
  7. Beat West Indies by 6 wickets (Kolkata) – 16 February 2022 (Rohit)
  8. Beat West Indies by 8 runs (Kolkata) – 18 Feb 2022 (Rohit)
  9. Beat West Indies by 17 runs (Kolkata) – 20 Feb 2022 (Rohit)
  10. Beat Sri Lanka by 62 runs (Lucknow) – 24 Feb 2022 (Rohit)
  11. Beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets (Dharamsala) – 26 Feb 2022 (Rohit)
  12. Beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets (Dharamsala) – 27 Feb 2022 (Rohit)

(With inputs from agencies)