India vs South Africa 3rd T20I: Quinton de Kock calls the shots as hosts battered
A rebuilding South Africa registered their first big victory with a nine-wicket thrashing of favourites India, squaring the T20 series 1-1 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday, producing an all-round show after Virat Kohli opted to bat on a pitch that promised plenty of runs but his batsmen failed.
Quinton de Kock (79*) and Reeza Hendricks (28) built on the platform set by paceman Beuran Hendricks (4-0-14-2) and left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (4-0-23-1), who left the visitors chasing a modest 135. South Africa eased to 140/1 from 16.5 overs.
Skipper de Kock struck his second consecutive half-century of the series, and added 76 runs for the opening wicket. It took yet another athletic catch by Kohli at mid-on to dismiss Reeza and break the partnership in the 11th over. But Temba Bavuma (27*) erased India’s rapidly fading hopes with a quick start, which culminated in an unbeaten 58-run stand with de Kock and a memorable win.
READ: Rohit Sharma joins MS Dhoni in illustrious T20I list
De Kock (79* -- 52 balls, 6x4, 5x6) was severe on all Indian bowlers, bringing up his 1,000 runs in the format and recording his first win as South Africa’s full-time T20 captain.
India’s disintegration, after a seven-wicket win at Mohali, reminded a packed house of similar failings by Kohli’s IPL side Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)—there were repeated chants of ‘RCB… RCB!’ as South Africa closed in on their triumph. A handful of Indian fans though stayed on till the end to cheer for their captain.
The contest became one-sided after India’s long batting line-up failed in its first real test—managing a mere 134/9. Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with a 25-ball 36 (4x4, 2x6), raising hopes that India’s top-order batsmen will set the platform for a big total. However, that was not the case. Rishabh Pant came up with the next best effort along with Ravindra Jadeja, scoring 19, albeit it was yet another failure for him at No 4.
Dhawan and Kohli added 41 off 30 balls, taking India to 54/1 in the first five overs. But despite a poor start—Kagiso Rabada bowled three wides on the trot in his first over that went for 17 runs—the visitors pulled things back via left-arm pacer Beuran Hendricks and Shamsi.
Kohli received a life on three when left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin could not hold on to a sharp return catch. The Indian skipper showed intent to attack in his brief stay, though he fell for nine while looking for yet another flick off Rabada, the spectacular execution of a shot that had fetched him six at Mohali. This time he was caught at the ropes by Andile Phehlukwayo.
READ: Ind vs SA: Virat Kohli explains reason behind batting first in 3rd T20I
India disintegrated after Kohli and Dhawan fell in successive overs. From 68/3 after 8.3 overs, India neither hit enough boundaries nor forged partnerships to stage a recovery. A meagre three fours and two sixes was all they managed in the last 10 overs despite consuming all their allotted overs.
After racing to 41/1 in the first five overs, which included a staggering 11 extras, India had a steady decline—35/2 was the output from overs 5-10, 23/3 came from overs 10-15, and in the final five overs all they could manage was 35/3.
Hardik Pandya (14) swung hard but failed to connect; Ravindra Jadeja showed more intent in running between the wickets, but Pandya was not too interested. Jadeja faced 22 balls for 19 with one six and a four, top-scoring among the last five batsmen who together contributed just 27 runs.
The two sides will now move on to Visakhapatnam, venue for the opening game of the three-Test series for the Freedom Trophy starting on October 2. It will also mark South Africa starting their campaign in the ICC World Test Championship. Kohli’s world No.1 team top the table with a total of 120 points.
The first T20 at Dharamsala was washed out without a ball being bowled.