Avesh Khan bowls India to series-levelling win against SA
RAJKOT, India (AP) — India bowled out South Africa for a record-low 87 runs to win their Twenty20 by 82 runs on Friday and set up the fifth and last match as the series decider.
Avesh Khan’s career-best 4-18 helped sink South Africa to its lowest total in T20s.
India put up 169-6 thanks to Dinesh Karthik’s maiden T20 half-century, a 55 off 27 balls.
“It was a tough pitch to bat on,” said Karthik, named man of the match.
“South Africa bowled beautifully and made it tough for our top order. Hardik (Pandya) told me to take time but I was able to express myself today. We absorbed the pressure in these last two games and it is good to see this series go down to the final match.”
Chasing 170, South Africa was down to 26-2 in 5.2 overs. Quinton de Kock was run out for 14, and Dwaine Pretorious was caught behind off Khan for a six-ball duck.
Effectively, the chasing side was three down when skipper Temba Bavuma retired hurt on 8 after Khan’s bouncer injured his left elbow.
Rassie van der Dussen scored 20 off 20 balls for South Africa’s top score. Only de Kock and Marco Jansen (12) also reached double figures.
Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal contributed with 2-21 and Harshal Patel bowled David Miller on 9.
Khan’s three-wicket burst in the 14th over all but finished off the South Africans, who lasted 16.5 overs.
Axar Patel added 1-19 as India romped to its biggest win over South Africa in T20s. Its previous biggest win by runs was by 48 three days ago in the third T20 at Visakhapatnam.
The series will be decided on Sunday in Bengaluru.
Put in to bat, India made a poor start losing Ruturaj Gaikwad (5) and Shreyas Iyer (4) cheaply.
India was 40.3 in the seventh over when Rishabh Pant and Pandya shared 41 runs to resurrect the innings. Pandya soldiered on to 46 off 31 balls.
Karthik, though, starred as he accelerated to a stellar finish. His 55 included nine fours and two sixes. His half-century came off 20 balls. Karthik is India’s longest serving T20 player, having featured in its inaugural game in 2006 against South Africa at Johannesburg.
Pandya and Karthik put on 65 runs off 33 balls for the fifth wicket.
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