India survived an unbeaten 106 by David Miller to clinch their first ever Twenty20 series against South Africa at home with a 16-run victory in the second match on Sunday.
Suryakumar Yadav smashed 61 off 22 balls and put on a key 102-run stand with Virat Kohli, who made 49 not out, to drive India to 237-3 after being invited to bat first in Guwahati.
In reply, South Africa finished on 221-3 after a threatening 174-run unbeaten stand between Miller and Quinton De Kock (69) as the hosts took an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The third T20 in Indore tomorrow remains the final match for both teams ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia starting October 22.
KL Rahul (57) and skipper Rohit Sharma (43) put on 96 runs to lay the foundations of the mammoth total - India’s fourth highest in T20 matches.
Suryakumar took over after the openers departed as he raced to his fifty in 18 balls to bring alive the packed home crowd.
He and Kohli, who also took on the bowlers in his 28-ball knock, tore into the opposition attack before the partnership ended with a mix up and Suryakumar’s run out at the non-striker’s end.
Dinesh Karthik smashed an unbeaten 17 off seven balls as he finished with a flourish, hitting a four and two sixes in an 18-run final over.
Earlier Rahul survived a lucky inside edge that missed his stumps for four and he kept up the attack with shots all around the ground.
The openers got stuck into Anrich Nortje in a 21-run ninth over before Keshav Maharaj broke the stand with the wicket of Rohit, caught at deep mid-wicket.
Rahul reached his fifty in 24 balls with a big six off Aiden Markram, an off-spinner.
But he soon departed lbw with Maharaj getting his second wicket.
South Africa suffered early setbacks after skipper Temba Bavuma got out for a seventh-ball duck off Arshdeep Singh who struck twice in his first over including Rilee Rossouw, also out for nought.
A brief interruption in play due a floodlight failure did little to change the tourists’ fortunes as Axar Patel sent back Aiden Markram for 33.
But Miller then attempted to do something out of the ordinary as he became the leading run-getter for South Africa in the T20 format.
He has 2,050 runs in 106 T20 internationals.
The left-handed duo of Miller, who hit his second T20 century in 46 balls, and De Kock played valiantly but the asking rate proved too much in the end.
India 237-3 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 61, KL Rahul 57, Virat Kohli 49 not out, Rohit Sharma 43; Keshav Maharaj 2-23) beat South Africa 221-3 (David Miller 106 not out, Quinton de Kock 69 not out; Arshdeep Singh 2-62) by 16 runs
Series: India 2-0 South Africa
South Africa’s David Miller plays a shot. (Right) India’s Suryakumar Yadav celebrates after scoring a half-century against South Africa in the second T20 international at the Assam Cricket Association Stadium in Guwahati. (AFP)