India vs SA 2nd ODI: A statistical deja-vu!
When history almost repeats itself...
From a disguised grip to a ripping turn whizzing past a flummoxed batsman, spin bowling is an art. Traditionally, the sub-continental dustbowls have been happy hunting grounds for quality spinners. But outside that territory, they are often limited to containing options, especially in the fast and swinging pitched of England, South Africa and the land down-under. Therefore a match-winning performance by a spinner in any of these regions would be headline-material for magazines in the cricketing world.
Yuzvendra Chahal pulled off such a miraculous performance to hand India its most comprehensive overseas win in the decade. His maiden fifer was instrumental in restricting South Africa to a total which would be meagre even in a T20 match. India's conclusive performance in this game is eerily similar to what transpired in a rather docile pitch in Nairobi almost two decades ago. Resemblances to the 1999 LG Quadrilateral Cup when India locked horns with the same opponents in the capital city of Kenya are uncanny enough to be a statistician's delight!
The numbers game is given below.
1: SA were bundled out for 117 in '99. They managed to better it by just one run this time.
2: Both were the second matches of the tournament.
2: India went in with two frontline pacers in both matches. In either case, they did not have much to do, as the spinners got the job almost fully done by themselves.
3: The second spinner in the eleven took three wickets. Nikhil Chopra took 3-26 in '99 whereas Kuldeep Yadav scalped 3-20 yesterday.
3: Three batsmen went to the pavilion without troubling the scorers. Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, and Steve Elworthy in '99, and David Miller, Imran Tahir, and debutant Tabraiz Shamsi (he was not out when the last wicket fell) suffered the dubious distinction.
5: Five South African batsmen got out with a score of less than five. Apart from the ones mentioned above, Johnty Rhodes and captain Hansie Cronje in '99 and Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel yesterday.
5: An Indian spinner took his maiden five-wicket haul on both occasions, both being their (by-far) career-best performances. Sunil Joshi bowled 10 overs to scalp five, conceding a mind-boggling 6 runs. Yuzvendra Chahal repeated the feat in the second ODI, conceding only 22 runs.
25: India wrapped up the game before the half-way mark in both games- in 22.4 overs with the loss of two wickets in '99 and in 20.3 overs with the loss of a single wicket yesterday.