Indore: A scintillating maiden T20I century from Rilee Rossouw led South Africa to a convincing 49 run win over India in the third and final T20I and helped them avoid a clean sweep in the three-match series at the Holkar Cricket Stadium here.
With the win in the first two T20Is, India won the three-match series 2-1. On the other hand, the win in the last game will give the Proteas momentum heading into the upcoming ODI series and also some confidence ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
A brilliant century from Rossouw (100 not out off 48) and a fine fifty by Quinton de Kock (68 off 43) powered South Africa to 227/3 in 20 overs, after being invited to bat first. Apart from Rossouw and De Kock, Tristan Stubbs (23 off 18) and David Miller (19 not out off 5) also played valuable knocks for South Africa, who were also helped by India’s sloppy fielding.
Chasing a mammoth total, India were off to a poor start, losing the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer early. Rohit, while trying to drive off the back foot, got out for a duck on the second ball of the innings to Rabada. On the other hand, Iyer was trapped in front of the wicket by left-armer Parnell.
Despite the wickets, Pant, who opened the innings and Karthik, who came to bat at No 4, dealt in regular boundaries to get India going in the chase. Pant slammed two sixes and two fours off Ngidi in the fifth over but got out soon after, handing a catch to Stubbs at cover-point to depart for a 14-ball 27.
However, Karthik ensured that India had a profitable powerplay. He hit six, four, six off Parnell in the sixth over as India managed 39 off the last two powerplay overs and reached 64/3 after six overs.
Veteran Karthik also struck two sixes off Maharaj in the seventh over, but he got out to the spinner bowled for a 21-ball 46 after failing to execute a reverse shot. Suryakumar Yadav, couldn’t do much and got out to Pretorius after striking a six, with Stubbs taking an excellent diving catch running in from deep extra cover, leaving India in deep trouble at 86/5 after 8 overs.
It was Deepak Chahar, who did some good hitting, smashing two fours and two sixes and helped India to the 150 mark in the 16th over while Umesh also scored a couple of boundaries during their partnership.