The third match of the three-match T20I series took place at the New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg and visitors India rolled over the hosts to register a record 106-run series-levelling win.
South African captain Aiden Markram won the toss and chose to bowl first. The ‘Men in Blue’ didn’t get off to an ideal start. Shubman Gill was adjudged lbw, missing out on reviewing a decision that could have been overturned. Then, Tilak Verma fell on the very next delivery, leaving India at 29 for two.
Skipper Suryakumar joined Yashasvi Jaiswal at the crease and forged a crucial partnership. After Jaiswal’s departure for 60, Suryakumar carried on strongly, scoring a scintillating century – his fourth in T20I cricket, with 100 runs off 56 balls, featuring seven fours and eight sixes. Despite losing quick wickets in the last two overs, India set a target of 202 for South Africa.
In pursuit of the target, South African batters struggled under the pressure of the big chase. Mohammed Siraj set the tone with a brilliant maiden over. The Proteas kept losing wickets at regular intervals, eventually getting bundled out for a mere 95 runs. India won the match by a significant 106-run margin, leveling the series at 1-1. Kuldeep Yadav wreaked havoc, registering his career-best figures of 5/17 in 2.5 overs on his birthday. Only three Proteas batters reached double figures, highlighting their poor run chase.
Top Performers of the Match
Suryakumar Yadav (100 of 56): SKY, unarguably India’s best batter in the T20 format, showcased his class and brilliance. Initially, seeming to struggle with a strike rate of almost 100, he later played an array of shots, smashing seven fours and eight sixes in his brilliant knock of 100. He emerged as the best batter of the match.
Kuldeep Yadav (5/17, 2.5 overs): Despite some recent concerns about his performance, especially after the below-par ODI World Cup 2023, Kuldeep Yadav demonstrated his real prowess with the ball in this match. After an early setback where he was struck for a six in his spell, he looked completely unplayable and turned the match in India’s favor, picking up a brilliant five-wicket haul.
Both teams will face each other in the first match of the three-match ODI series in Johannesburg on December 17.