India clinched the three-match T20I series against South Africa by registering a thrilling 7-run victory in the third T20 international at Newlands, Cape Town on Saturday.
In the series decider, the Men in Blue entered into the field without the services of their regular skipper Virat Kohli. The Indian captain had to miss the game due to a stiff back. In Kohli’s absence, there was an additional responsibility on other batsmen to put up a good total on the board and they didn’t let the team down.
After being put into bat by South African skipper JP Duminy, India lost their stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma cheaply for 11. However, the left-handed duo of Shikhar Dhawan (47 off 40 balls) and Suresh Raina (43 off 27 balls) steadied the sheep with a 65-run stand for the second wicket.
In the final two overs, Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik helped India to put a competitive total of 172/7 on the scoreboard. While Karthik scored 13 off just 6 balls with 3 boundaries, Pandya made 21 off 17 balls.
In reply, the South African innings faltered from the beginning as they lag behind the run-rate. Though some serious clean striking in the death overs from debutant Christiaan Jonker made the match thrilling for the viewers. Jonkers’ valiant effort with the bat – 49 off 24 balls ended in a vain as South Africa fell 7 runs short of the target. For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar scalped two wickets while Bumrah, Shardul, and Pandya chipped in with one wicket each.
Earlier, India won the first T20I by 28 runs before the hosts fought back and won the second game by 6 wickets. It is worth mentioning here that Virat Kohli & Co. recorded a double series win over the Proteas.
Seeing their consistent run throughout the South Africa tour, Twitteratis were in full of praise for the Indian team.
Here are some of the best tweets:
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) February 25, 2018
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) February 24, 2018
— Wriddhiman Saha (@Wriddhipops) February 24, 2018
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 24, 2018
Well done boyyysss congratulations for one more victory and 2-1 ✌✌✌✌✌✌@circleofcricket @imVkohli @ImRo45 @hardikpandya7 @SDhawan25 @im_manishpandey @ImRaina @msdhoni @DineshKarthik @BhuviOfficial @Jaspritbumrah93 @imShard @akshar2026 @BCCI @DelhiDaredevils
— Mohammad Shami (@MdShami11) February 24, 2018
Tense finish, close T20 series, near clean sweep of ODIs, touch and go in the five-day format, super tour overall for India. In future, important to remember Test matches are still the most coveted…
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) February 24, 2018
T 2625 – CRICKET DOUBLE WHAMMY !! INDIA beats SoAf in Women's and Mens .. WINS both SERIES ! INCREDIBLE !! We are simply the BEST .. A SUPERIOR NATION !! Congratulations INDIA teams .. you have made us all so proud .. !! pic.twitter.com/yNKxzbAo7p
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) February 24, 2018
India wins another decider of a bilateral series. Speaks a lot about raising the game when it's needed the most. #SAvIND
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 24, 2018
Congratulations India on winning The T20I Series. Showed immense character after losing the second test and bouncing back so wonderfully. Kudos to the entire team on the win #SAvIND pic.twitter.com/3ovJjWkRtT
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 24, 2018
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) February 24, 2018
— Moulin (@Moulinparikh) February 24, 2018
How fitting, that, it's @BhuviOfficial who bowls the over that gives India the T20I series. He was India's Man of the Series in Tests, missed out in ODIs but showed his class in the T20Is. What a brilliant series. #SAvIND
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) February 24, 2018
— Himansh Kohli (@himanshkohli) February 24, 2018