Parthiv Patel, the former Indian wicket-keeper lauded Heinrich Klaasen’s match-winning knock in South Africa’s four-wicket win at the Barabati Stadium on June 12. The Proteas wicket-keeper batter scored 81 off 46 deliveries after replacing injured Quinton de Kock in the playing XI.
Coming into bat at 29-3 in the final over of the powerplay, Heinrich Klaasen took time to settle and forged a partnership with skipper Temba Bavuma. The 30-year-old eventually accelerated before perishing to Harshal Patel in the 17th over.
Parthiv Patel : Heinrich Klaasen Played Spinners Really Well
Heinrich Klaasen pressed the accelerator button in the 64-run partnership with Temba Bavuma, who scored 35 off 30 balls with four boundaries and a six. The duo saw the threat of Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fiery spell and brought South Africa back into the game. Heinrich Klaasen took the toll on the Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel, leaving no stone unturned to maximize the scoring opportunities against the pair.
Heinrich Klaasen smashed Yuzvendra Chahal for a total of three sixes and a boundary in their enticing battle, mostly dominated by the South African. Axar Patel was introduced in the 12th over of the chase and Heinrich Klaasen took him to the cleaners with a couple of fours and a six over deep mid-wicket as the left-arm spinner conceded 19 runs from his lone over of the game.
Reserving praise for Heinrich Klaasen’s exploits against spin-bowling, Parthiv Patel said: “The way he played and some of the shots he played, like coming on the backfoot and scoring over cover were really great. He played spinners really well.
“Also, the way he paced his innings. At first, it looked like he was being trapped by the spinners but the wicket was such. Once he was settled, his strike rate increased and he never looked back.”
This was the 30-year-old keeper’s highest score in T20I cricket. Heinrich Klaasen has played 29 matches for the Proteas in the shortest format and boasts a strike rate of 146.41. While the wicket-keeper batter dealt majorly with boundaries, the initial phase of his partnership with Temba Bavuma included a lot of strike rotation. South Africa had to rebuild their innings after tottering at 29-3 at the end of the powerplay in their chase of 148.
Noting that the match-winning effort included just about everything in a perfect inning, Parthiv Patel said: “Apart from the fours and sixes, the praise has to go to the strike rotation by Klaasen. You cannot build an innings with just boundaries. He showed the entire template of batting in this one inning.”
Adjudged the player of the match for his innings, the former Rajasthan Royals (RR) player recorded seven fours and five sixes in his 81-run knock.
Ashish Nehra: By The Time Temba Bavuma Was Dismissed, The Match Was Away From India’s Grasp
Defending a target of 149, India was handed an ideal start courtesy of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The right-arm pacer struck in each of his three overs in the powerplay to set the platform for the rest of the bowling attack. However, a 70-run partnership between Temba Bavuma and Heinrich Klaasen derailed India’s defense.
Opining that by the time India broke the stand in the 13th over, the match was well within the grasp of South Africa, Nehra said during the same interaction: “After Bavuma got out, the only way India could have bounced back in the game was if Chahal took a couple more wickets including the one of Miller or Klaasen. By the time Bavuma got out, the match was far away from India’s grasp.”
Following their win in Cuttack, the Proteas now hold a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. The two teams will next face each other in the third contest on June 14 (Tuesday) in Vishakapatnam. The visitors took the Indian bowlers to task as they had failed to defend the total in both matches. After the third T20I in Vizag on June 14th, the remaining two matches of the series will be played in Rajkot (June 17) and Bengaluru (June 19).