Rajkot: Rishabh Pant-led Team India marked 82 runs win against South Africa in the fourth T20I taking the series to the decider. Hosts have levelled five-match T20I series 2-2.
Defending a total of 169, Bhuvneshwar Kumar started off economically giving away only 1 run in the opening over. Hardik Pandya came to bowl in the next over and conceded 12 runs as South Africa scored 13 runs in two overs. In the third over Bhuvneshwar’s delivery went on to hit the helmet of Protea captain Temba Bavuma and he was retired hurt.
The visitors batted steadily but a mix-up resulted in Quinton de Kock’s run out for 14 and they lost their first wicket on 24. In the next over Avesh Khan dismissed Dwaine Pretorius for a duck caught behind by wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant as South Africa lost their second wicket for 26. Yuzvendra Chahal gave India the third breakthrough by dismissing Heinrich Klaasen for a leg-before wicket for 8. The visitors scratched their way to the 50-run mark in 9 overs.
The dangerous David Miller was cleaned up for 9 in 11th over to leave Proteas tottering at 59 for 4. Avesh Khan struck thrice in the 14th over dismissing Rassie van der Dussen, Marco Jansen and Keshav Maharaj to leave Proteas tottering at 78/7. In the next over Chahal dismissed Anrich Nortje for 1 and Axar Patel dismissed Lungi Ngidi for 4 as South Africa was bowled out for 87 as Bavuma did not come out to bat to hand India an 82-run win. Earlier in the day being put in to bat, the Indian team got off to a poor start losing Ruturaj Gaikwad for 5 in the second over of the match.
Lungi Ngidi scalped the first wicket for South Africa as the opener was caught behind by wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock. In the next over, debutant Marco Jansen made Shreyas Iyer his first T20I victim by dismissing him leg before wicket for 4. India were tottering at 24 for 2. In-form Ishan Kishan looked good as India were 40 at the loss of two wickets in six overs of mandatory powerplay. Anrich Nortje then dismissed the southpaw immediately after the powerplay for 27 as India lost their third wicket for 40.
Captain Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya then took the team’s total beyond the 50-run mark in 7.4 overs. Pant and Pandya batted steadily as India were 56 at end of 10 overs. Pandya kept on playing big shots while Pant played the anchor’s role. The 41-run partnership was broken as left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj dismissed Pant for 17 off 23 balls to leave India in a spot of bother at 81/4.
Dinesh Karthik walked in to bat with Pandya and the duo took the team’s total beyond the triple-figure mark in 15.1 overs. Both the batters batted aggressively to accelerate the scoring rate. Karthik continued the way he played in IPL. The 65-run partnership was broken as Lungi Ngidi got his second wicket. He dismissed Hardik Pandya for 46 off 31 balls as India lost half of its side for 146. India reached the 150-run mark in 18.3 overs. Dinesh Karthik notched up his maiden T20 international half-century in just 26 balls by hitting a six. In the very next ball though, he was dismissed by Dwaine Pretorius for 55.
first published:June 17, 2022, 11:44 p.m.