Opener Tony de Zorzi’s outstanding maiden century, coupled with a stellar performance from pacer Nandre Burger, led South Africa to an emphatic eight-wicket victory over India in the second ODI, leveling the three-match series at 1-1 on Tuesday.
In pursuit of the 212-run target, de Zorzi, playing only his fourth ODI, displayed a counter-attacking innings of 119 not out off 122 balls, guiding South Africa to victory with 7.3 overs to spare. The left-handed batsman smashed nine fours and six sixes during his impressive knock.
Earlier, India, opting to bat, posted a total of 211 all out in 46.2 overs. Despite fifties from opener B Sai Sudharsan and captain KL Rahul, South African bowlers dominated, with Burger leading the way by claiming three crucial wickets. Beuran Hendricks and Keshav Maharaj took two wickets each.
Defending the modest total, India struggled to make early breakthroughs as de Zorzi and Reeza Hendricks (52) established a formidable 130-run partnership. Although Reeza’s dismissal brought Rassie van der Dussen (36) to the crease, South Africa comfortably achieved victory with de Zorzi finishing the match with a six.
The win allowed South Africa to bounce back from their previous eight-wicket loss in Johannesburg, keeping the series alive heading into the decider.
Chasing 212, de Zorzi’s aggressive approach and Hendricks’ composed innings denied India the early wickets they needed. The duo put together a commanding opening stand, ensuring South Africa’s victory. De Zorzi reached his fifty in the 18th over and went on to complete a century off 109 balls.
India’s bowlers, including pace duo Arshdeep Singh and Mukesh Kumar, failed to break the partnership, and de Zorzi’s innings guided South Africa to a convincing win.
In the first innings, Sudharsan and Rahul had given India a solid start with a 68-run partnership for the third wicket. However, regular wickets from South African bowlers, particularly Burger, restricted India to a below-par total.
Despite Sudharsan’s impressive fifty, South African bowlers, including Burger, Hendricks, and Maharaj, kept chipping away at the Indian batting lineup. Rahul reached his fifty, but quick wickets in the middle overs disrupted India’s progress. Burger claimed three wickets, and Maharaj took crucial scalps to limit India to 211.
South Africa’s victory in the second ODI set the stage for an exciting series decider between the two teams.