IND vs SA: Dinesh Karthik smashes T20I career-best 55 as India beat South Africa by 82 runs
Karthik’s maiden half-century before bowlers, led by pacer Avesh Khan (4-18), snuff out SA for 87 in 16.5 overs to take the series into Sunday’s decider
Dinesh Karthik celebrates his half-century against South Africa at Rajkot yesterday. Pic/AFP
Dinesh Karthik’s maiden half-century since his T20I debut in 2006 was a memorable moment as India thrashed South Africa by 82 runs in the fourth T20I and level the five-match series 2-2. The winners will be decided in the final T20I clash at Bangalore on Sunday.
The hosts were struggling at 81 for four before a 65-run stand between vice-captain Hardik Pandya (46 off 31) and Karthik (55 off 27) took India to a fighting 169 for six here on Friday. Thanks to the duo, India were able to amass 73 runs in the last five overs.
South Africa in response were bowled out for 87 in 16.5 overs. Once skipper Temba Bavuma retired out on eight after being hit on the elbow, South Africa kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Pacer Avesh Khan was the pick of the bowlers for India with 4-18. Leggie Yuzvendra Chahal finished with 2-21.
Earlier, South Africa put the Indians on the back foot in the Powerplay despite the absence of their lead bowler Kagiso Rabada due to an injury.
The other pacer, who missed due to an injury was Wayne Parnell while star opener Quinton de Kock made a welcome return at the expense of Reeza Hendricks.
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The first ball after the Powerplay made matters worse for India as the hosts struggled to 40 for three in 6.1 overs.
Ishan Kishan, who played some fine strokes en route to his 27 off 26, was dismissed on the very ball of Anrich Nortje’s opening spell.
The southpaw tried to guide a short ball to third man but got himself in an awkward position to top edge it to de Kock.
India’s top three has not looked comfortable against high quality pace in the series and it was evident here once again.
Ruturaj Gaikwad, who had found form in the previous game, was the first one to depart after the extra bounce from Lungi Ngidi induced the outside edge.
Iyer, who has been troubled by the short ball in this series, missed a good length ball from Marco Jansen that pitched on middle and seamed back a little.
The Proteas had to take a DRS review for a LBW to send Iyer back in the hut, giving Jansen his first wicket on his T20 debut.
Post the Powerplay, skipper Rishabh Pant and Pandya, gave the innings a move on with a 41-run stand. The momentum changing stand came via Pandya and Karthik.
India 169-6 (D Karthik 55, H Pandya 46; L Ngidi 2-20, A Nortje 1-21) beat South Africa 87 all out in 16.5 overs (R Dussen 20; A Khan 4-18; Y Chahal 2-21) by 82 runs
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