India eye triumphant end to SA tour

Carla Harmon
February 25, 2018

India also won the one-day series 2-1. While Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who had been South Africa's wrecker in Chief in the first game with his knuckle ball walked away with the man of the series.

Earlier in the match, the early departure of Rohit Sharma (11) saw Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina share a second-wicket partnership of 65, which put India in control.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan was the highest scorer for India with 47 runs off 40 balls.

Indian bowlers picked all 60 wickets on tough surfaces during their narrow 1-2 loss in Tests and Kumar hoped they can dominate the longer format of the game when they tour South Africa next.

Chasing 173 for victory, South Africa sent David Miller (24) to open the innings, but they didn't get off to a great start with in-form Reeza Hendricks (7) a catch off Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-24). (Photo: BCCI/IANS) (Credit Mandatory) Cape Town: Indian skipper Rohit Sharma and South African skipper JP Duminy during the 3rd T20I between South Africa and India at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, South Africa on Feb 24, 2018.

South Africa were 114 for 5 in the 17th when Behardien joined Jonker.

A stiff back forced Indian skipper Virat Kohli to sit out from the third and series-deciding T20I between India and South Africa. He found his first boundary off the 20th ball he faced, the delivery after Miller had fallen, and hit back-to-back sixes off Axar. It is fantastic to see a lot of talent coming through.

Raina last played in an ODI in October 2015 against South Africa in Mumbai. It wasn't just the men's team, the women's performance too in the first six overs made the difference. However, Karthik's 6 ball 13-run cameo ensured that India would finish with 172/7 on the board.

Jonker battered five fours and two sixes to bring the equation down to 12 off the last three balls, but he couldn't quite steal what would have been an against-the-odds win. The hosts put down two chances and made several other clumsy errors that ultimately cost them the series, while the visitors barely put a foot wrong in the field. Duminy's wicket left the hosts needing 53 runs off the last three and it looked as if the game was being played as a formality.

The visitors were dealt a major blow even before the first ball was bowled.

It was all to do for them as Suresh Raina came up to bowl. "I have worked really hard on my game and my mental toughness". Batting at No. 3, he has done brilliantly in T20 cricket but he gave me that license to go after the bowlers and attack.

South Africa on the other hand, have rankings at stake. I am very happy that this series has given me that confidence that I can be a T20 player. It was a decent score and once again, the bowlers did it for us.

In the meantime, Chris Maurice made Shikhar Dhawan (47) nearly out in the sixth over to the pavilion, but Shamsi missed the catch and gave life to Dhawan. They are very good players.

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