Iyer, Ishan shine as India level ODI series 1-1 against SA

Ranchi, Oct 9 (Agency) A swashbuckling century by Shreyas Iyer and Ishan kishan’s 93 helped India to pocket the must-win second ODI match against South Africa by seven wickets here on Sunday. Iyer smashed an unbeaten 113 off 111 balls and Ishan hit 93 off 84 balls. Iyer’s was a classical knock who hammered 15 boundaries without any six, while Ishan clobbered 4 boundaries and mega hits over the ropes. The duo made 161 runs partnership for the third wicket that catapulted the team from dire straits. Batting first SA scored 278/7 with Aiden Markram and Reez Hendricks, hitting half centuries, on a pitch that was helping slower balls. In reply, India crossed the mark with 25 balls to spare. The win was a proud moment for the second-string young Indian players who snatched all the glamour from senior SA team which is making an efforts to get vital points for automatic qualification for the ODI World Cup next year. The problems for the Indian chase was compounded after they lost Captain Shikhar Dhawan and graceful Shubnam Gill inside powerplay.

At this point the South Africans sniffed blood, but Ishan and Iyer sabotaged the visitors’ hope. Their partnership was the nemesis for SA. Sanju Samson gave company to Iyer who finished the match in favour of India. The South Africans were well on course for a 300-plus score when Markram and Hendricks were batting. They put in a 129-run partnership for the third wicket. However after their departure, Indian bowlers started to claw their way back into the game, ably using the old ball and with slow-bowling tricks. South Africa will be unhappy for falling short of at least 20 runs, but looking at the pitch the target looks competitive enough, considering the tricks the older ball is doing on the pitch. Struggling at 40/2 in 9.5 overs after losing Quinton de Kock (5 off 8) and Janneman Malan (25 off 31), Hendricks and Markram steadied South Africa’s innings with a useful partnership, before the later survived a loud LBW appeal by leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav (1/49 in 9 overs). Both raised a fifty runs partnership off 60 balls as Markram dealt in boundaries. Soon they took the SA score to 100/2 in 21 overs after hitting a four apiece by Markram and Hendricks off Washington Sundar (1/60 in 9 overs).

Hendricks reached his fourth ODI fifty with a single off Shahbaz Ahmed (1/54 in 10 overs) before smashing the first six of the match off Kuldeep. Markram was adjudged caught behind off Avesh Khan (0/35 in 7 overs), but reversed the decision with the review. Hendrdricks then hoicked a short ball for a boundary in the same over to bring up a century stand. The century stand was broken by Mohammad Siraj in the 32nd over. Hendricks tried to cart away a short delivery, but mistimed and found Shahbaz latching on to it at deep square leg. The inform Heinrich Klaasen (30 off 26) walked in and started off with a bang and powered SA past 200 in 37th over with a flurry of boundaries. Having whacked a six off Kuldeep, Klaasan tried to repeat the shot, but was bamboozled by the wrist-spinner as he gave away a catch to Siraj at long-on. Markram departed in the next over, hitting a short delivery from Sundar to extra-cover where captain Shikhar Dhawan held on to the catch. South Africa were reduced to 215/5 in the 39th over. Sundar and Siraj did well to keep David Miller (35 no off 34) and Wayne Parnell (16 off 22) in check with some tight overs. Looking for the much-needed boundary, Parnell ended up offering a catch to Shreyas Iyer at long-off to give Shardul a wicket. South Africa went without a boundary off the bat for close to seven overs before Miller struck two successive fours off Shardul. But India’s disciplined performance in the death overs restricted South Africa crossing the 300 runs mark. Siraj finished with 3-28 as India conceded only 28 runs in the last five overs.