Twitter Reactions: South Africa 'choke' in a low-scoring thriller; clinch the series opener in a super over

Twitter Reactions: South Africa ‘choke’ in a low-scoring thriller; clinch the series opener in a super over

Miller was the star in the super over for South Africa.

Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The first T20I between South Africa and Sri Lanka was one helluva contest. Things boiled down all the way till the super over and it was the hosts who managed to hold onto their nerves in the crunch situation. The slow pitch in Cape Town where the ball was stopping a lot made the lives of batsmen extremely difficult.

Run-making wasn’t an easy task and thus the game ended up being a low-scoring affair. Yet, it managed to keep the fans on the edge of their seats because nothing was over until the last ball of the 40th over of the game was bowled. Imran Tahir has to be credited for his clinical show with the ball. But, it was David Miller who stole all the attention with his unbelievable knock.

South Africa tie the visitors down to a below-par total

South Africa opted to chase after winning the toss at the Newlands. The side got off to a terrific start with Dale Steyn dismissing Niroshan Dickwella right of the second ball of the innings. Kagiso Rabada dismissed Kusal Mendis for a duck in the second over and the visitors were down to 7/2. South Africa kept applying the pressure with tight fields and the bowlers continued to chip with regular wickets.

Kamindu Mendis scored 41 off 29 balls and was the best performer for Sri Lanka on the night. However, he was stumped out as he tried to dance down the pitch off Imran Tahir’s bowling. It looked as if the side wouldn’t cross 120 at one stage. But a 6-ball 12 from Isuru Udana and a 4-ball 8 from Akila Dhananjaya propelled Sri Lanka to 134/7 in 20 overs.

David Miller comes to the rescue

The pitch only got tougher to bat in the second innings. The man in-form, Quinton de Kock also found it tough and could only crawl to 13 off 17 balls. Another batsman in good touch, Faf du Plessis also struggled and got out after putting up 21 runs on the board. At this stage, David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen built a beautiful partnership.

From 52/3, they took the side to 118/3. 22 balls were left in the game and South Africa only had to get 17 runs at one stage. Even though it seemed to be a cakewalk, things turned upside down in the 17th over of the match. Both Miller and Dussen were dismissed in a span of three balls. Only 2 runs came off the 17th over.

JP Duminy and Andile Phehlukwayo hit a boundary each in the 18th over and scored 10 runs. The latter, though, was dismissed in this over. Thus, the margin came down to 6 runs in 12 balls. However, Lasith Malinga bowled a beautiful 19th over and conceded just one run and picked up a wicket. 5 runs were to be scored in the last over.

Isuru Udana gave a single off the first ball. The next two balls were dots to Dale Steyn. The pacer rotated the strike off the fourth ball. But, JP Duminy was run out on the fifth ball as he attempted an overambitious double. Two runs were needed off the last ball. Imran Tahir under-edged the ball but it went straight to the keeper. Dickwella missed the stumps and the batsmen sneaked in a single to level the scores.

The Super Over

South Africa had to bat first in the super over. Miller and Dussen were the two batsmen who walked out into the middle. Singles came off the first two balls. The third ball from Malinga was dispatched for a six by Miller. He missed out on scoring off the fourth ball and hit a four off the fifth ball. Two runs were scored from the final delivery of the innings as the Proteas finished with 14 runs.

Imran Tahir bowled the super over and Thisara Perera and Avishka Fernando were the two men who walked out to bat. Despite the batsmen being dropped twice and a wide conceded, Sri Lanka could only get 5 runs and therefore lost the match.

Here is how Twitterati reacted:

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