David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Gallo Images)
- The Proteas didn’t always survive big T20 chases, but when they did, it was spectacular and satisfying.
- On Thursday they rolled in 212 to record their most successful T20 chase.
- SA have only managed to chase 200 successfully in T20 cricket three times since 2005.
South Africa handled their most successful chase in a T20 game when they defeated India by seven wickets in their first of five T20s on Wednesday in Delhi.
It was the second time South Africa had over 200 aggregate against India, but they have only managed an over 200 pursuit three times since they first played T20 cricket in 2005.
Here are SA’s top five T20 chases:
September 11, 2007 – 208/2 v West Indies, Johannesburg
A little over a year after the 438 game, Wanderers witnessed a volley of boundaries that lasted an entire game.
In the first T20 World Cup game, Chris Gayle made an immediate impact on the format with 117 balls from 57, which was an innings fire starter.
T20 cricket was still 20 games old and no one had any idea of the importance of support acts, meaning Gayle’s tapping was not adequately supported by his teammates.
Devon Smith hit 35 of 34 while four other hitters made a combined 36 of 26 with two fours and two sixes.
205/6 looked more than reasonable, but when Herschelle Gibbs 90* from 55 and Justin Kemp’s 46* from 22 ravaged the West Indies, it wasn’t.
It proved that T20 cricket was a batsman’s game, but that total has only been surpassed once in the T20 World Cup and 13 times since.
October 20, 2015 – 200/3 v India, Dharamshala
A century is not always a guarantee of success in T20 cricket and India have learned the hard way in this series opener in northern India.
Rohit Sharma’s 106 sustained India’s 199/6, along with contributions from Virat Kohli (43), MS Dhoni (20) and Suresh Raina (14).
JP Duminy hasn’t always justified his enormous potential throughout his career, but his unbeaten 68 from 34 balls laid the groundwork for a seven-wicket win.
There were practical interventions from AB de Villiers (51), Hashim Amla (36) and Farhaan Behardien (32*) that made the chase an easy one.
February 21, 2018 – 189/4 vs. India, Centurion
The 438 game and the opening game of the 2007 World Cup earned SA the moniker of excellent chasers, but beneath the surface they were anything but.
Two years ago, on Valentine’s Day, they failed in a 204 one-run chase against England and didn’t even come close on other occasions.
That’s why this chase against India remained memorable in a summer when SA was brutally overplayed in the limited overs exchanges.
Manish Pandey (79*) and MS Dhoni (52*) powered India’s 188/4. Heinrich Klaassen plays his home cricket at SuperSport Park and is aware of the friendly chase on the pitch.
His 30-ball 69, allied with Duminy’s 40-ball 64, resulted in an easy win in a rather difficult limited-overs summer.
Feb. 19, 2012 – 174/2 v New Zealand, Hamilton
New Zealand is home to the most successful T20 chase, Australia’s whopping 245/5 against the hosts on 16 February 2018.
So it should come as no surprise that SA put up a fairly high chase, although Seddon Park’s small dimensions mean bowlers will suffer most of the time.
However, New Zealand barely got going in their 173/4, with Martin Guptill scoring the best with 47/35, while Brendon McCullum (35), Kane Williamson (28), James Franklin (28) and Rob Nicol (23) all stuttered .
Richard Levi made mincemeat of the hunt with an unbeaten 117 of 51 balls. His 100 came in 45th place and was the fastest T20 ton at the time.
He’s now slipped off the billing and 10 balls was shaved off his record by David Miller and Rohit Sharma, but he’s had his night under the stars.
February 21, 2016 – 172/1 v England, Johannesburg
England have been better than South Africa at white ball cricket over the six years. However, this reversal took place early in the white-ball revolution in England under Trevor Bayliss and Eoin Morgan.
By this point of this tour, England had one foot on the run, having won the Test series and surrendered a 2–0 lead in the five-game ODI series.
Jos Buttler’s 54 from 28 went nowhere as England slipped to 171 due to a lack of support outside of Morgan’s 38 and Joe Root’s 34.
SA reached that goal in 14.4 overs, with AB de Villiers hitting 69 balls from 38 balls on 71 balls from 29 balls with Hashim Amla in his slipstream.
SA won that series 2-0, but it’s the last white-ball engagement they’ve beaten the 50-plus world champion in.
Rare Large T20 Chases: Five times the Proteas chased large T20 targets
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