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South Africa outlast Nepal in thrilling T20 World Cup encounter

Where was the game won? At the death. Nepal almost matched South Africa for PowerPlay returns and fared far better through the middle but the death overs brought their downfall. South Africa struggled in this phase with the bat too but ended up getting 35 runs which proved just about enough at the end.

South Africa PowerPlay: Quinton de Kock falls early again in slow start Phase score - 38/1 [RR: 6.34, 4s/6s: 6/0] In just the second match of the World Cup in Kingstown, Nepal opted to bowl and there was early evidence why. South Africa openers Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks struggled to middle the ball for half the PowerPlay overs before de Kock once again flattered to deceive, falling to Dipendra Singh for an 11-ball 10. Hendricks hit a couple of boundaries off Karan KC on either side of the wicket but batting continued to be a struggle. Nepal wrapped up a tight PowerPlay with the first sign of spin through Kushal Malla.

Middle-overs: SA struggle against spin Phase score - 42/2 [RR: 4.67, 4s/6s: 3/1] Sandeep Lamichhane returned and immediately lifted the quality of Nepal's bowling attack. He started with a two-run over where he got the ball to dip and turn and trouble the batters. Aiden Markram was scratchy at the start but Hendricks went after Malla in his second over, hitting the first of only two sixes in the South African innings. Malla was immediately replaced with leg-spinner Kushal Bhurtel, who too was stingy and put a leash on the South African scoring. South Africa limped to 57/1 at the halfway stage but Bhurtel put down a sitter to offer Hendricks a reprieve in the 11th over. However, he made instant amends, getting Markram to play one onto his stumps and depart for a forgettable 15 off 22. Lamichhane nearly had Heinrich Klaasen early when the South African went for a switch hit, but the leaping backward point couldn't hold on. Nepal kept coming at South Africa with spin though, as Bhurtel took out Klaasen in the next over, caught - just about with a couple of juggles - by Karan at extra cover.

Death-overs: Nepal bowlers dig in further Phase score - 35/4 [RR: 7.00, 4s/6s: 2/1] Between the 11th and the 16th over, Nepal kept South Africa from scoring a boundary for 33 deliveries. Even when the streak was broken, it didn't turn the game around too dramatically for South Africa as run-making was still tough. Dipender Singh returned in the 16th over to end Hendricks's stay on 43 off 49, taking a return catch off a top-edge. Lamichhane bowled his fourth tight over to finish with figures of 0 for 18 that included 11 dots. The need to ramp up the scoring took out David Miller in the 18th over - from Dipender - when an outside edge went to Lamichhane at short third man. Dipender finished with 3 for 21 in 4 overs, with 9 dot balls. 


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