‘Enthralling performance’: India defeat South Africa in the third T20I to stay alive in the series

India defeated South Africa by 48 runs in the third T20I of the series and kept themselves alive.

India (Image Source: BCCI)

India and South Africa locked horns in the third T20I of the home series for the Men in Blue. This match was a crucial one to Indiaโ€™s chances of staying alive in the series as they have lost both the first matches to start of.

The match took place at Visakhapatnam on an apparently slowish wicket. The Indian bolwers displayed the best of their skills as they bowled the opposition out of the match.

South Africa won the toss for the third time in the series and decided to field first. India got off to a flying start as openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan looked to take the aggression to the bowlers from the very beginning. The duo put up a partnership of 97 runs off just 60 deliveries. Gaikwad scored a blazing 57 runs off 35 deliveries and set the foundation for the big hitters later on in the innings. He was dismissed by Keshav Maharaj. Ishan Kishan continued his decent form in this match also as he scored 54 runs off 35 deliveries before being dismissed by Dwaine Pretorius in the 14th over of the innings.

The middle order of the Indian team failed to capitalize on the start provided by the openers. Barring Hardik Pandya (31 off 21) none of the other batters in the middle-order left much impact. At the halfway stage of the innings, it looked like India is all set to reach a total of 200 plus runs but they could manage 179 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in their 20 overs. Dwaine Pretorius was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors picking up two wickets for 29 runs from his four overs.

India had a controlled start in the second innings as they set out to defend the at-par total. Axar Patel drew the first blood for India in the 4th over of the innings as he dismissed Temba Bavuma (8 of 10). South Africa’s score at this stage was 23 for 1. They needed aย  steady yet dynamic partnership to go keep themselves on track in the chase. Thus the visitors placed their bets on Dwaine Pretorius at number three in the batting order. But they kept losing wickets and falling behind in the chase. The Indian spinners were brought in early in to the attack and they repaid the faith the captain showed in them. They kept bowling into the wicket and hence got a lot of purchase from the track. By the end of the 10th over South Africa had lost four wickets for just 63 runs. Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller were out in the middle and the Proteas depended majorly on Miller to pocket series.

But Harshal Patel provided India with the vital wicket of David Miller (3 of 5) in the 11th over of the innings with a deceiving slower delivery. While this put the visitors on the backfoot the final nail in the coffin was the wicket of Heinrich Klaasen (29 of 24). He was dismissed in the 15th over of the innings by Yuzvendra Chahal, when South Africa’s score was 100 runs. As the over culminated South Africa was 102 for 6 needing 78 runs off the last 30 balls. With just 4 wickets in hand the equation proved too much for the visitors. The Proteas managed to score 131 runs for the loss of 10 wickets from 19.1 overs. India won the match by 48 runs and kept themselves alive in the series. Harshal Patel was the pick of the bowlers for India picking up four wickets for 25 runs from his 3.1 overs.

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