India

2nd T20I: Virat Kohli-Powered India Notch Up 7-Wicket Over South Africa

2nd T20I: Virat Kohli-Powered India Notch Up 7-Wicket Over South Africa

Virat Kohli produced yet another masterful innings as he remained unbeaten on 72 to help India crush South Africa by 7 wickets in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) in Mohali on Wednesday. During his knock of 72 off 52 balls, the Indian skipper overtook Rohit Sharma to become the leading run-scorer in the shortest format of the game. Needing 150 to win, India chased down the target in 19 overs to lead the three-match series 1-0 after the opening game was washed out.

After winning the toss, the hosts' bowlers led by paceman Deepak Chahar restricted South Africa to 149/5 in 20 overs.

Virat Kohli then anchored the chase, putting on crucial partnerships including a 61-run second-wicket stand with opener Shikhar Dhawan, who made 40 off 31 deliveries.

The left-handed Dhawan fell to a spectacular catch by an airborne David Miller at long-on with left arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi getting the breakthrough.

Debutant spinner Bjorn Fortuin struck soon to get wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant back in the pavilion for four as India slipped to 104 for three.

But Kohli, who went on to complete his 22nd T20I fifty in 71 games, stood firm to see the team home with Shreyas Iyer, on 16 as he hit the winning four, at the other end.

Kohli, who became the highest run-getter in T20 internationals with 2441 runs, is locked in a battle with teammate Rohit Sharma who was out for 12 and has 2434 runs from 97 matches.

Earlier South Africa skipper Quinton de Kock smashed 52 off 37 deliveries to give his team a brisk start before the Indian bowlers struck back.

De Kock, a wicketkeeper-batsman, put on a crucial 57-run second-wicket stand with debutant Temba Bavuma.

The left-handed opener, who was recently appointed leader of South Africa's T20I side, smashed eight fours as he completed his third fifty in the shortest format.

Paceman Navdeep Saini got the prized wicket of De Kock with India Kohli taking a sensational one-handed running catch from mid-off.

Bavuma went on to make 49 off 43 deliveries before becoming Chahar's second victim of the evening as South Africa lost steam in the middle overs.

Unbeaten batsmen Dwaine Pretorius, on 10, and Andile Phehlukwayo, on eight, finished off in style with a six each to make South Africa get 16 runs from the final over.

The final match is on Sunday in Bengaluru.

(With AFP Inputs)