Left-handed batter Tony de Zorzi struck an unbeaten century and raised a 130-run partnership with Reeza Hendricks (52) as South Africa scored a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over India and levelled the three-match ODI series 1-1 on Tuesday.
Tony de Zorzi struck a 122-run 119 run, hitting nine boundaries and half-a-dozen sixes after South Africa elected to bowl first and then bowled out India to 211 in 46.22 overs despite the visitors’ innings being bolstered by half-centuries by opener B Sai Sudharsan and skipper K.L Rahul.
In reply, Hendricks and de Zorzi gave South Africa a superb start as they raised 130 runs for the opening wicket in 27.5 overs as South Africa reached 215/2 in 42.3 overs for a comprehensive victory.
De Zorzi completed his half-century off 55 balls as the hosts raced to 100 runs in 126 balls. Reeza Hendricks completed his half-century off 71 balls, hitting seven fours, before he got out, top-=edging a short one by Arshdeep Singh to Mukesh Kumar near square leg. De Zorzi continued to keep one end going, adding 76 runs for the second wicket with Rassie van der Dussen (36 off 51b, 5×4). The left-handed de Zorzi reached the three-figure mark off 109 balls, hitting nine fours and four sixes in the process.
Though Rassie van der Dussen was sent back by Rinku Singh with the score at 206, by that time the writing was clear on the wall for India. KL Rahul used eight bowlers but none of them could trouble the South African batters.
Earlier, pacers Nandre Burger (3-30) and Beuran Hendricks (2-34) along with spinner Keshav Maharaj (2-51) led a clinical bowling performance by South Africa as India were bundled out for 211.
Sai Sudharsan scored 62 off 83 balls, hitting seven fours and a six, while Rahul contributed 56, coming off 64 deliveries and studded with seven boundaries, the rest of the batters failed to stay at the crease for long after South Africa won the toss and elected to field first.
Ruturaj Gaikwad (4) was the first to go, getting out off the second delivery of the match, trapped lbw as the ball swung in past the inside edge to hit the pad in line. Gaikwad reviewed the decision but could not reverse the decision.
From 4/1, India were down to 46/2 as Tilak Varma fell to a superb Nandre Burger bouncer, that cramped the batter and was caught at fine leg.
Sai Sudharsan and KL Rahul raised 68 runs for the third wicket, with the former completing his half-century off 65 balls, hitting six fours and a six, in the process.
But just when it looked like the third wicket partnership had pulled India out of the woods, Sudharsan got out, edging behind off a superb delivery by Lizaad Williams, beaten for pace as it lands on hard length, kicks up off the surface and kisses the batter’s glove as he shapes up to play a cut shot.
Sanju Samson (12), Rinku Singh (17) and Azar Patel (7) failed to fire and India were undone by a middle-order collapse. Rahul completed his half-century off 60 balls, hitting six boundaries.
Arshdeep Singh landed a couple of lusty blows on his way to a 17-ball 18 as India stumbled to 211, a score well below par.
India 211 all out in 46.2 overs (B Sai Sudharsan 62, K.L Rahul 56; Nandre Burger 3-30, BNeuran Hendricks 2-34, Keshav Maharaj 2-51) lost to South Africa 215/2 in 42.3 overs (Tony de Zorzi 119 not out, Reeza Hendricks 52; Arshdeep Singh 1-28. Rinku Singh 1-2) by eight wickets.