The players responded well and carved out a comfortable 48-run win at the Dr YSR ACA-VDCA stadium, here on Tuesday night. The return to form of opener Ruturaj Gaikwad and the bowlers getting back their wicket-taking ability augurs well for the hosts as they head to Rajkot for the fourth game.
Scorecard | As it happened
South Africa, chasing 180 for a series win, failed to get the start that they wanted as the Indian spinners did the early damage. The surface here is known to aid spinners in the second innings and skipper Pant brought in left-arm spinner Axar Patel in the fourth over itself. Patel didn’t disappoint as he got rid of South Africa captain Temba Bavuma (8).
Harshal Patel, who was struck for a four by Dwaine Pretorius and a six by Reeza Hendricks, had the last laugh as he dismissed Hendricks (23) to leave the visitors 38 for two. Leggie Yuzvendra Chahal then made it 40 for three as he had Rassie van der Dussen caught behind for 1.
#TeamIndia win the 3rd T20I by 48 runs and keep the series alive.Scorecard – https://t.co/mcqjkCj3Jg #INDvSA… https://t.co/ixF5LAUuTO
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1655226246000
There was further trouble for the visitors as Chahal had the dangerous-looking Pretorius (20; 16b; 2×4, 1×6) caught behind to leave them tottering at 57 for four in the ninth over. At the end of the 10th over, South Africa were 63 for four.
Harshal then removed David Miller (3) – a rare failure in recent times – to put India on top. South Africa needed 109 in nine overs. Heinrich Klaasen (29; 24b 3×4, 1×6) and Wayne Parnell tried to take the innings deep but Chahal got rid of the former to set up the celebrations in the 15th over itself. They ended up with 131 as Harshal got four for 25 and Chahal three for 20.
Earlier, openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan gave the side a dream start as they garnered 57 in the powerplay – the best in this series for India. An under-fire Ruturaj, who had scored 23 and 1 in the previous outings, fired on all cylinders. The Maharashtra player struck a 35-ball 57 with seven fours and two sixes and Kishan continued with his rich form (76 & 34) as he struck his second half-century (54; 5×4, 2×6) of the series.
Though Kishan got the first boundary in the second over, it was Ruturaj who took charge of the proceedings. Ruturaj went after Anrich Nortje in the fifth over of the innings and plundered five consecutive boundaries. Ruturaj reached his maiden T20I half-century off 30 balls with six fours and two sixes.
Kishan, who was watching the fun at the other end, joined the party. He struck Tabraiz Shamsi for a six and four in the ninth over of the innings. Ruturaj welcomed Keshav Maharaj with an inside out drive over covers but the left-arm spinner had the last laugh. He had the Indian caught and bowled off the last ball of the over to get the much needed breakthrough.
Kishan continued the good work as he slammed Maharaj for two fours and a six in the 12th over to blaze away to his fourth half-century off 31 balls with five fours and two sixes. Shreyas Iyer struck two sixes in his 11-ball 14 before being snapped up by Nortje off Shamsi and Dwayne Pretorius had Kishan caught by Reeza Hendricks to peg the Indian charge.
With Rishabh Pant (6) and Dinesh Karthik (6) falling cheaply, it was left to Hardik Pandya (31 not out) to boost the score.