Heinrich Klaasen and JP Duminy put together a sensational partnership of 93 off 50 to help SA to a much needed six wickets victory over India in the second T20 in Centurion on Wednesday night.
As a result, the 3rd and final match at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday will be the decider as this series is tantalisingly poised 1-1 after India won the opener Johannesburg on Sunday.
By the time he was caught behind by India wicket-keeper MS Dhoni in the 14th over from the bowling of Jaydev Unadkat, Klaasen had caused carnage with a breathtaking knock of 69 off 30 balls, which included three boundaries and a whooping seven maximums.
Proteas crossed the line with eight balls to spare with Duminy standing tall with an unbeaten knock of 64 off 40 and Farhaan Behahrdien contributed 16 off 10.
The first wicket to fall for SA was that of Jon-Jon Smuts on two as he gifted Suresh Raina the simplest of catches at cover point after he was deceived by a slower delivery from Unadkat in the fifth over. SA suffered another blow a few overs later when opener Reeza Hendricks only managed to find deep square leg from where he was caught by Hardik Pandya after he was beaten by another slower ball from Shardul Thakur having scored 26.
Struggling David Miller was the last Proteas batsman to be dismissed by Pandya.
It was not a perfect performance by the Proteas, but they will take positives from this match as they managed to soak up the pressure considering that the average score batting second at this venue is 130.
Some of the glaring mistakes by the Proteas were bowling at the death where they conceded 55 runs in the last four overs and Junior Dala dropping Dhoni on 35 in the penultimate over.
With the ball Dala was impressive as he got the ball rolling by trapping Rohit Sharma plumb in the second over following a maiden by Chris Morris who took the new ball.
With the fast bowlers taking a pummeling, captain and spinner Duminy introduced himself into the attack and two balls later he removed the dangerous Shikhar Dhawan for 24 when he was caught by Behardien.
It got better for SA when Virat Kohli was dismissed in the following over having scored just one run after he was caught behind by Klaasen from the bowling of Dala who ended with figures of 2/28 in his four overs. Andile Phehlukwayo struck in the eleventh over when he removed Suresh Raina, who was also trapped in front but Manish Pandey (79) and Dhoni (52) rescued their innings with a partnership of 98 off 56.
In the last 20 balls of their innings, India scored 41 runs with Dane Paterson conceding eighteen runs in the last over where Dhoni hit one maximum and two boundaries as they accelerated in the closing stages.