India win by 48 runs against Proteas to stay alive in series.
By Neil Manthorp
Yuzvendra Chahal and Harshal Patel claimed seven wickets between them to lead India to a comfortable 48-run victory against South Africa in the third of five T20 Internationals at the Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.
Having successfully chased a record 212 in the first game in Delhi and 149 in the second in Cuttack the tourists were set a target of 180 but lost wickets immediately and regularly to slump to 131 all out in response to India’s 179-5 with a top score of just 29 from Heinrich Klaasen.
South Africa now lead the series 2:1.
India’s openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (57) and Ishan Kishan (54) gave the home side a flying start with an opening stand of 97 before three quick wickets slowed the scoring rate when a total of around 200 seemed likely at the halfway stage with India 97-1.
Gaikwad was in devastating form as he took 20 runs from Anrich Nortje’s first over smashing a total of seven fours and two sixes from 35 balls before a leading edge was superbly caught off his own bowling by Keshav Maharaj.
Shreyas Iyer (14) swept left arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi to Nortje at square leg and Ishan followed soon after well caught in the deep by Reeza Hendricks off Dwaine Pretorius after hitting five fours and two sixes from 35 deliveries.
Pretorius collected a second wicket when captain Rishabh Pant mistimed a lofted off drive to captain Temba Bavuma and the runs began to dry up just as India were looking to accelerate. Pretorius was particularly effective bowling wide yorkers and might have had even better figures than 2-29 from his four overs had David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen not dropped catches in the deep.
Shamsi completed his four overs for the first time in the series for a return of 1-36 but Maharaj’s wicket cost him 24 runs from just two overs while Nortje bowled just two overs for 23 runs.
Wayne Parnell and Kagiso Rabada had identical figures of 3-0-20-0 coming into the final two overs of the innings and Rabada had Dinesh Karthik (6) caught at mid on to finish with 1-31 while Parnell conceded 12 from the final over to finish with 0-32 with Hardik Pandya finishing unbeaten on 31 from 21 balls with four fours.
Bavuma (8) and fellow opener Reeza Hendricks (23) both toe-ended drives to mid on while van der Dussen (1) edged his fourth ball from legspinner Chahal (3-20) to ‘keeper Pant. Pretorius (20 from 16 balls) departed in the way while David Miller (3) was deceived by a slow off-cutter from seamer Patel (4-25) which he could only drive to cover.
When Klaasen fell to Chahal in the 15th over the game was effectively over at 100-6 and the tail quickly folded despite an unbeaten 22 from 18 balls by Parnell.
The fourth and fifth games are in Rajkot and Bengaluru on Friday and Sunday.