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Gaikwad, Harshal & Chahal Shine as India Win by 48 Runs Against South Africa

The win in the 3rd T20 against South Africa means India keep the series alive at 2-1.

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After a couple of defeats in the series, the Indian cricket team bounced back in style against South Africa, registering a comprehensive 48-run win at Vizag. The win for Rishabh Pant and co means that India have saved the series and need to win the remaining to games to clinch it. The five-match series currently stands 2-1.

While the out-of-touch Ruturaj Gaikwad put on a show to start the evening, bowlers Yuzvendra Chahal, also criticised recently, and Harshal Patel were in top form as India ticked all the boxes on the day.

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Batting first, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan came out all guns blazing, silencing their critics and giving South Africa’s bowlers quite a shock. Gaikwad took Anrich Nortje on in the fifth over of the powerplay, smashing him for five boundaries, to propel the scoring rate.

At the other end, Kishan was his usual busy self, finding the gaps and also able to clear the ropes with relative ease, yet again. Previously, the opening stand had troubled India in the series, but the duo came good and how, giving the fans a lot to cheer about on Tuesday.

Gaikwad and Kishan were motoring along with the run-rate in the region of 10 an over even after the powerplay and were setting up for a big finish. However, Gaikwad, who got his half-century in the 9th over, was dismissed in the next, caught and bowled by Keshav Maharaj for 57. The openers had put on 97 in 10 overs. Shreyas Iyer (14) departed cheaply soon after that as Tabraiz Shamsi had his number.

The win in the 3rd T20 against South Africa means India keep the series alive at 2-1.

Ruturaj Gaikwad after getting his 50.

Image: BCCI

Kishan completed his half-century in the 12th over before being dismissed for 54 by Dwaine Pretorius, and India, at 131/3, had a bit of a wobble in the middle of the innings. Pretorius packed off Rishabh Pant too for 6, caught by Temba Bavuma while Dinesh Karthik failed to kick on as well. DK fell to Kagiso Rabada for 6, leaving Hardik Pandya to drive India to a good score.

Losing partners and with the pressure on him, Hardik could only add 4 boundaries to the cause, finishing unbeaten on 31 off 21 deliveries as India posted a healthy 179/5.

In response, the South Africans had a bad start, losing a couple of wickets in the powerplay itself. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was keeping it economical as expected and Axar Patel benefited from that, dismissing Temba Bavuma for 8, smartly caught by young Avesh Khan in the 4th over. At the end of the powerplay, SA lost another one in Reeza Hendricks for 23, dismissed by Harshal Patel and caught by Yuzvendra Chahal. The Proteas were 38/2 and India had their tails up.

India’s bowlers continued to tighten the screws with the spinners too getting into the act, unlike the previous game. Rassie van der Dussen was caught behind off Chahal for 1 in the 7th over, and in the 9th the keeper-bowler duo combined again as Pretorius walked back for 20 off 16.

The win in the 3rd T20 against South Africa means India keep the series alive at 2-1.

India walk out to field against SA

Image: BCCI

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While Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller tried to rebuild, India’s bowlers kept it tight, resulting in pressure building on the batters. One over into the second half of the innings, Harshal’s beautifully bowled slower one dismissed the big-hitting Miller for 3, as Gaikwad took a good catch.

Klaasen had Wayne Parnell for company as they looked to stay in it in the final phase of the game. India though had the trump card of another over from Chahal. Klaasen, the only hope for SA at this point in the game, had to take on the bowlers after a 29-run stand with Parnell which saw him get to 29, the batter decided to go for it against Chahal. And it did not work out too well for him, as the spinner’s guile bamboozled him while he attempted to clear the ropes. Klassen on 29 gave it the kitchen sink but was caught at extra cover by Axar, as Chahal picked his third and finished his spell with that over.

Chahal, who had been under the pump, finished with figures of 3/20 and SA needed more than 15 runs an over in the final five. India had won the crucial middle overs phase and Avesh Khan then conceded 8 in the next before walking off with a knock on his hand while fielding of his own bowling. Parnell and Rabada weren’t letting go just yet.

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Chahal then took a brilliant catch at deep point of the next over as Harshal picked his third wicket, sending back Rabada for 9. Avesh was back out from the dugout after the over and finished his spell with figures of 0/35.

Chahal then took a brilliant catch at deep point of the next over as Harshal picked his third wicket, sending back Rabada for 9. Avesh was back out from the dugout after the over and finished his spell with figures of 0/35.

Up next for Bhuvi with the ball, and he finally had a wicket in his fourth over, Maharaj caught at point by DK for 11 while looking to clear the in-field. A couple of deliveries later Nortje was run-out for a duck as Bhuvi finished with figures of 1/21. In the final over, Harshal picked his fourth when Shamsi holed out in the deep. India won by 48 runs and the confidence was visibly back in the team.

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