South Africa vs India 2018: South Africa's top-order implosion is SK Turning Point of the match
It was yet another example of wrist-spin coming to the fore as Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav combined to subdue South Africa at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. India completed a comprehensive nine-wicket victory and sauntered to a 2-0 lead in the six-match ODI series.
Enjoying the prospect of operating on a pitch providing considerable help, Chahal and Kuldeep picked up eight wickets between them from a collective tally of 14.2 overs at the cost of just 42 runs. Their relentless threat, coupled with some shoddy batting, resulted in South Africa plummeting to their lowest ever ODI total on home soil.
After shredding the Proteas to just 118, India chased down the comfortable target with as many as 29.3 overs to spare. South Africa's abysmal performance rightfully raised questions on their ability to counter wrist-spin. Their top-order implosion turned out to be the pivotal moment in the match.
South Africa lose three wickets in six balls
The hosts began their innings on a decent note as Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock looked to establish a platform for the middle-order. However, in the tenth over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed the seasoned right-hander with some late movement. Then, the two wrist-spinners set about sparking an inexplicable collapse.
Catch the highlights of all South African wickets here
With the wily MS Dhoni encouraging him to bowl slower through the air, Chahal did not take time to find his rhythm. He received a fair amount of luck as de Kock pulled a rank long hop straight into the hands of deep mid-wicket in the last ball of the 13th over.
Skipper Virat Kohli raised the intensity by bringing Kuldeep into the attack from the other end. The chinaman exponent struck gold in his very first delivery of the match. Stand-in captain Aiden Markram's almighty heave travelled only as far as Bhuvneshwar in the deep.
South Africa's woes were exacerbated when Kuldeep exploited David Miller's faulty technique against the turning ball. Luring the left-hander into the drive by tossing the ball up, he induced an outside edge which was gobbled by the reliable Ajinkya Rahane at slip. From 51/1, the Proteas had slipped to 51/4 in the space of six deliveries spanning across two overs.
India raze Proteas for record low total
JP Duminy and debutant Khaya Zondo attempted to revive the innings by stitching together a partnership. They were helped by the Indian captain who pulled Chahal out of the attack following the drinks break. The southpaw, in particular, scored some handy runs against a rather wayward Hardik Pandya.
The partnership was curtailed to just 48 runs when Chahal returned to the equation. Feeling the need to break the shackles, Zondo perished while trying an ungainly slog sweep. The leg-spinner delivered the killer blow by dismissing Duminy with a delivery that turned back into the left-hander.
Chahal picked up a couple more lower-order scalps and pocketed his maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs. On the other hand, South Africa were shot out for their eighth lowest total in the format and lowest at home. Making mincemeat of the straightforward chase, India's top-order batsmen also reiterated the changing of sails revolving around the contrastingfortunes of the two teams.