If there was ever a comeback story that could inspire a team that is trailing in a bilateral series, it is this one. Or at least, the seeds have been sown for India’s performance in the last two matches to be recognized as one of the most memorable comebacks in recent times. After two consecutive defeats to start with, India pulled off their second consecutive win of the series over South Africa with an 82-run victory at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday, June 17. With this victory, India now have levelled the series 2-2 and now, it is all to play for in Bengaluru on Sunday in the decider. Virat Kohli and Test Team Members Return to Training, Upbeat Ahead of India’s Rescheduled Fifth Test Against England (See Pics)
The seeds of this victory were sown by a spectacular partnership between Hardik Pandya (46) and Dinesh Karthik. After India were reduced to 81-4 after 12.5 overs, the two added 65 runs to give the side a much-needed impetus they needed to post a competitive total. Both the players just showed that they could turn out to be India’s finishers in the long run and helped the hosts end on a high. For Karthik though, it was a special knock as it was his first T20I fifty, 16 years after featuring for India in their first-ever match in the shortest format of the game, against South Africa.
In response, South Africa were dealt with a massive blow when skipper Temba Bavuma walked off the field, retired hurt with an injured elbow. Quinton de Kock’s run out in the fifth over was a game-changing over and so was the dismissal of Dwaine Pretorius, with the South African big-hitter falling to Avesh Khan for a six-ball duck. The dismissals of Heinrich Klaasen (8) David Miller (9) subsequently made sure that the Indians were walking off with the win. If it was Karthik in the first innings, it was Khan in the second, as the young pacer gave India a look into the future with figures of 4/18 in his four overs. Harshal Patel (1/3), Yuzvendra Chahal (2/21) and Axar Patel (1/19) were superb as well as the Proteas could manage only 87 runs.
Here are some stat highlights of the match:
#South Africa posted their lowest ODI total-87
#This was also India’s biggest win in T20Is in terms of margin of runs–82
#Dinesh Karthik scored his maiden T20I fifty
#Hardik Pandya got to his highest personal score-46
On Sunday, both teams would aim to give it their best and win the series. But the momentum would surely be with India, who are scripting a tale of one of the most iconic T20I series comebacks in recent history.
(The above story first appeared on Fresh Headline on Jun 17, 2022 11:08 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website freshheadline.com).