Wayne Parnell celebrates the wicket of Hardik Pandya during the second T20 match in Cuttack, India, on Sunday. AP
Pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada led a disciplined bowling attack as South Africa kept down India to 148 for six in Cuttack in the second Twenty20 international on Sunday.
Dinesh Karthik's unbeaten 30 off 21 balls gave India a late push after they lost regular wickets following South Africa's decision to field first in Cuttack.
The tourists suffered a pre-match blow when wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock was ruled out due to a hand injury, but Rabada gave an early breakthrough in the first over.
He sent back Ruturaj Gaikwad for one to bring up his 50th T20 wicket for South Africa and returned figures of 1-15.
Ishan Kishan walks back after getting dismissed during the second T20 match in Cuttack. AP
Left-handed opener Ishan Kishan and Iyer then attempted to rebuild the innings in a 45-run partnership that was broken by fast bowler Anrich Nortje, who took two wickets.
Nortje took down Kishan after getting hit for two sixes by the diminutive batsman in his previous over.
Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj sent back skipper Rishabh Pant in his first over and soon Hardik Pandya's wicket off Wayne Parnell made India slip further.
But Karthik launched an attack in the final two overs and put on an unbeaten 36-run stand with Harshal Patel, who made 12.
South Africa, led by Temba Bavuma, need 149 to go 2-0 up after they won the opener of the five-match series.Quinton de Kock misses out due to a hand injury and Tristan Stubbs is left out. Heinrich Klaasen and Reeza Hendricks come in to take their spots.
The pitch at Barabati Stadium will aid batsmen again. Unlike in Delhi, dew is expected to be a factor in the second innings.
A full house is in attendance as international cricket returns to Cuttack for the first time since December 2019.
India: Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (captain), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan.
South Africa: Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma (captain), Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
Associated Press/ AFP