T20 World Cup: South Africa beat India but skipper denies his side are among favourites

Bavuma plays prospects down as Proteas move back to top of Super 12 Group 2 with five-wicket victory in Perth

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Temba Bavuma insists his South Africa side are flying under the radar at the T20 World Cup despite their impressive win over India in Perth.

The five-wicket win sent them back to the top of the table in Group 2 of the Super 12s. The only points the Proteas have dropped in the competition so far have come in a rain-abandoned game against Zimbabwe, which they were also dominating.

Their excellence has pushed Pakistan to the brink of elimination from the tournament, and has established the South Africans among the favourites for the title.

“We don’t like that tag,” Bavuma, the South Africa captain, said.

“We have come into the tournament as not the favourites. As I said from the beginning, we will keep flying under the radar.

"It is important for us that we keep improving game in and game out. That is exactly what we are doing.”

Rohit Sharma’s decision to bat first after winning the toss appeared a brave one when faced with a blistering South African pace onslaught on a rapid batting track.

He and KL Rahul failed to score a run off the first nine balls they faced, which was the longest it had ever taken India to get off the mark in a T20 international.

They did so in style off the 10th, as Rohit hit a trademark pull shot into the stands off Kagiso Rabada, but the respite was only brief.

Lungi Ngidi fired out both openers, then became the first bowler in the tournament to dismiss Virat Kohli. Ngidi ended with figures of four for 29, which earned him the player of the match award.

India were given something to bowl at, though, thanks to another extraordinary counter attack by Suryakumar Yadav.

While everyone else was struggling to lay a bat on the ball, Yadav somehow still managed to score at the sort of rate he is known for.

He hit three sixes and six fours in a remarkable 40-ball stay that brought him 68, before he became one of three victims for Wayne Parnell.

Although India’s bowlers employed a different method to that of their counterparts, their defence of 134 was both plucky and skillful.

The swing of Arshdeep Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar – contrasted to the pace and ferocity of Ngidi and Co – reduced South Africa to 24 for three in their reply.

Ten overs into the chase, the Proteas appeared behind the game, but a 76-run partnership between Aiden Markram and David Miller, who both made half-centuries, proved decisive.

Miller clinched the win with consecutive boundaries off Bhuvneshwar, with two balls left in the final over.

“When you see that score, you always think that you are in the game because the pitch is such that a wicket can come at any time,” Rohit said.

“That was a match-winning partnership from Markram and Miller. We were a little poor in the field, too. We gave too many chances and were not quite clinical.

“It was not good enough. The last two games we played we were pretty good in the field and we want to be consistent in that department.”

Updated: October 30, 2022, 4:00 PM
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