Ind vs SA, 3rd T20 | Sport

Harshal, Chahal help India stay alive in series

Yuzvendra Chahal dealt three vital blows to derail the South Africa innings.

Yuzvendra Chahal dealt three vital blows to derail the South Africa innings. | Photo Credit: K.R. DEEPAK

This has been a summer of sunshine for David Miller. He has raised the bar, made the impossible seem mundane, and nonchalantly dismissed bowlers with bludgeoning blows.

When seamer Harshal Patel’s change of pace extracted a miscued hit from the left-handed Miller, caught well by Ruturaj Gaikwad at extra-cover for just three, it marked the decisive moment of the contest.

No comebacks

There were no comebacks for South Africa after Miller’s exit and India, winning by 48 runs after bowling out the Proteas for 131, made the series scoreline 2-1 in the third T20I at the ACA-VDCA Stadium here on Tuesday.

The last two games of the series bristle with possibilities.

The Proteas, inserting the opposition, did well to restrict it to 179 for five after a blistering start from Ruturaj (57) and Ishan Kishan (54), both faced 35 deliveries, promised much more for India.

Ruturaj Gaikwad found his tough to score a breezy half-

Ruturaj Gaikwad found his tough to score a breezy half- | Photo Credit: K.R. DEEPAK

However, the South Africans lost wickets early in the chase. Axar Patel took out Temba Bavuma with a change in trajectory and Harshal pulled his length back to force a fatal miscue from Reeza Hendricks.

And Yuzvendra Chahal, bowling with rhythm, skill and control, spun one across Rassie van der Dussen for ’keeper Rishabh Pant to take a sharp catch. The leg-spinner celebrated again when he spun one from the off-stump to consume a heavy-hitting Pretorius.

When the wily Chahal, flighting the ball outside off, had a fighting Heinrich Klaasen reaching out for the sphere and holing out at cover, South Africa had lost another game-changer.

This was a night when Ruturaj had put his dancing shoes on. He was nimble-footed, creating space and room for expansive strokes. A flicked six off Kagiso Rabada was a sign of things to come.

The intrepid opener slammed five successive boundaries off Anrich Nortje in a dramatic over that saw Ruturaj charging down and striking Nortje over mid-on. The South African responded with a nasty lifter that flicked the gloves and crashed into his helmet grill before speeding to the boundary. A pristine flick was the best of the boundaries.

An inside-out cover-drive off left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, after stepping down the track, was a high-quality stroke. Kishan essayed some typically fierce pulls and sweeps. The left-hander showcased his ability to get under the ball to pound it. Indeed, he employed his bat like a sledge-hammer in a compelling onslaught on Maharaj.

The 97-run opening partnership in 10 overs was broken by a delivery of flight and dip that Ruturaj knocked back to Maharaj.

Pretorius’ slower ball accounted for Kishan (54, 35b).

The South African regrouped and focussed on sending down cutters on this dry surface — Pretorious was impressive with his control and cut — to restrict India.

For the host, Hardik Pandya batted with maturity and cricketing nous to remain unbeaten on a handy 31. These were vital runs for India.

Then came Harshal’s four-for and Chahal’s treble.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 11:03:17 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/harshal-chahal-help-india-stay-alive-in-series/article65528115.ece