India set up T20I decider after pitiful South African collapse

By Sports Desk June 17, 2022

India skittled South Africa over for only 87 to seal a huge 82-run win in Rajkot, levelling up their T20I series at 2-2 and teeing up a mouth-watering decider on Sunday.

Avesh Khan claimed outstanding figures of 4-18 as India eased to a victory even more comprehensive than Tuesday's 48-run win in Visakhapatnam.

India earlier lost Ruturaj Gaikwad (5), Shreyas Iyer (4) and Ishan Kishan (27) during the opening seven overs, but that was nothing compared to the tourists' spectacular collapse, as Rassie van der Dussen top scored for the Proteas with just 20 runs.

The hosts had been reduced to 40-3 after being put in by Temba Bavuma, but a stand of 65 between Hardik Pandya (46) and Dinesh Karthik (55) following Rishabh Pant's departure for 17 got them motoring.

Karthik's superb half-century helped carry India to a respectable 169-6, and he was only dismissed by Dwaine Pretorius midway through the final over before South Africa put in a dreadful performance with the bat.

Quinton de Kock (14) was the first to go, followed within three balls by Pretorius for a duck after captain Bavuma retired with an elbow injury.

Things only got more painful from there as Avesh ran riot, adding the scalps of Van der Dussen (20), Marco Jansen (12) and Keshav Maharaj (0) to that of Pretorius, while Yuzvendra Chahal (2-21) also made his mark as India kept their hopes of a stunning series turnaround alive.

Avesh wreaks havoc

Avesh capitalised on another fragile display with the bat and the momentum is firmly with Indiai.

If Tuesday's attempt at a chase had been poor – Heinrich Klaasen's 29 representing their best showing, Friday's was truly woeful, with only De Kock, Van der Dussen and Jansen reaching double figures during a chastening chase.

Pandya and Karthik step up

India had been wobbling early on, but Pandya and Karthik stepped up following top-order failures.

In particular, Karthik's 55 off 27 balls carried the hosts into the final over, and helped to leave the series delicately poised.

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