The third T20 between India and South Africa on Saturday night was a final as both teams were tied at 1-1 in the three match series. India suffered a setback after captain Virat Kohli was ruled out with a stiff back and Rohit Sharma was handed the captaincy.
South Africa won the toss and sent India in to bat and it wasn’t long before the Indian openers got the team off to a good start. Sharma who has had a horrible series once again fell cheaply (11) and Suresh Raina took the responsibility to provide the innings with impetus as S Dhawan was struggling at the other end. Raina made a quick-fire 43 of 27 balls and fell trying to go clear the boundary.
South Africa’s Poor Fielding Costs Them Dearly
South Africa’s fielding was poor by their usual standards as T Shamsi dropped S Dhawan twice. There were also a number of errors in the field and that allowed India to get a few more runs than they should have.
South Africa managed to rein the Indian batsmen in towards the end of the innings as India lost M Pandey, MS Dhoni, H Pandya in quick succession. The Indians managed to get to 172 in the end and it was going to be a tough task for the Proteas.
Proteas Fail Yet Again
South Africa got off to a slow start as B Kumar, J Bumrah and S Thakur made things difficult during the first six overs. Captain JP Duminy (55) played a good knock but was unable to stay till the end and take his side home. Debutant C Jonker caught the Indians off-guard as he scored 49 of just 24 balls to take the match into the final over. B Kumar used his experience to restrict South Africa and help India secure a series win by 7 runs.
Raina was given the man of the match award for his runs and also for sending down 3 overs for 27 runs. B Kumar was given the man of the series award for his tremendous performance with the ball.
In a statement, stand in captain R Sharma said “It was a complete bowling performance. We will take these limited-overs trophies, throughout the series we played with a lot of aggression. As a group, we never back down from any situation. That is the reason we are standing here as winners.”