SA beat India by 9 wickets to draw T20I series 1-1
South African skipper Quinton de Kock continued his loving-relationship with the M Chinnaswamy stadium here as he guided his side to a 9 wicket win over India to end the 3-match T20I series level at 1-1. de Kock’s effort, however, came on the back of an impressive showing by his bowlers, who brought down the famed Indian batting line-up crashing down to earth after Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat first.
Set a mere 135 to win on one of the smallest grounds known to favour the chasing teams, de Kock and his opening partner Reeza Hendricks got their team off to a flier as the Indian bowlers failed to make initial breakthroughs till the 10th over mark.
Hardik Pandya provided India with the 1st wicket as Hendricks’ mistimed pull was grabbed by a diving Kohli at mid-on, just milimetres off the ground. de Kock though found another able partner in Temba Bavuma as the duo kept cruising towards the below-par target. En route, de Kock brought up his 4th T20I half-century off just 38 balls.
Earlier, India were restricted to 134 for nine by a disciplined bowling performance from the South African attack. While India were coasting along at 63/1 in the 8th over, the Proteas came back by picking up the next 8 wickets while giving away just 70 more runs.
India were cruising at 54 for one after dominating the first six Powerplay overs. But the departure of Shikhar Dhawan (25-ball-36) gave the South Africans an opening, and they grabbed it with both hands.
Kagiso Rabada was expensive but picked up three wickets, while there were two apiece for Bjorn Fortuin (2/19 in 3 overs) and Beuran Hendricks (2/14), who choked the run-flow after the whirlwind start.
Rohit Sharma got out early but he did put pace spearhead Rabada under pressure straightaway, striking him for two boundaries in his first over.
That brought crowd favourite Kohli but the skipper too followed suit as Andile Phehlukwayo pulled off a fine running catch in the deep.
Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant threw away their wickets within a space of two balls, leaving India in trouble at 92 for five in the 13th over.
After Pant fell prey to left-arm spinner Fortuin’s smart piece of bowling, Iyer stepped out out only to be stumped down the leg-side.
India- 134/9 (Shikhar Dhawan 36, Ravindra Jadeja 19; Kagiso Rabada 3/39)
South Africa- 140/1 (Quinton de Kock 79 n.o, T Bavuma 27 n.o; Hardik Pandya1/23)