India’s nine-wicket defeat to the Africans in the final T20I gives both the teams a share in the recently concluded T20I series.
It’s usually the Men in Blue who are considered as the dominant ones when they play in their home conditions but this wasn’t the case this time around when they locked horns against the South African team consisting of many younger players who were touring India for the very first time in their careers led by the dynamic and dashing wicket-keeper batsman Quinton De Kock in the recently concluded T20I series.
Both the teams were consisting of the young players and the senior players were given rest. Considering the T20 World Cup to take place in a year’s time, both teams wanted to test some of the players to fit in case of emergencies. While South Africans gave rest to players like Faf Du Plessis and Imran Tahir, Indians also gave rest to their wicket-keeper batsman and former Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Jasprit Bumrah.
The start to the series was disappointing as the first game of the series was completely washed out due to rain without a ball being bowled in Dharamshala. Spectators who had come in huge numbers to support their heroes had to leave disappointed. As the first game was washed out, there were only two games remaining to be played in the series.
Then the teams moved on to the venue for the second game which was Punjab Cricket Association, Mohali. Who can forget the heroics of Indian Captain Virat Kohli in the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2016 when he single-handedly destroyed the mighty Australians and proved that he is the chase-master in the modern era of Cricket. The same was expected of him when the teams arrived in Mohali for the second game of the series and he didn’t spoil anyone’s hopes by repeating the same thing in the same venue but against the different opposition.
Quinton De Kock’s efforts went in vain as with the help of Kohli’s knock of 72*(52), India comfortably defeated South Africa by 7 wickets chasing the target of 150 in 20 overs with an over to spare. For his match-winning knock, Virat Kohli was also awarded the Man of the Match award. Surprisingly, this was India’s first T20I win against South Africa in India. Now having only one game left to be played in the series, India made sure they will not lose the series.
After the dynamic performance from the Men in Blue in Mohali, both the teams moved to the Green city of India, Bengaluru in the iconic M.Chinnaswamy Stadium for the third and final game to be played in the series. As expected, the stadium was full of supporters. On one hand, Indians were looking to seal the series with a win whereas, on the other hand, South Africa was reluctant to throw away the series in the hands of the home team. Surprisingly, India won the toss and chose to bat first. Proving India’s decision to bat first wrong, South African team bowled exceptionally well led by their dashing bowler Beuran Hendricks whose inspiring efforts of 4-0-14-2 made way for South Africa’s win.
South Africa was given a mere target of 135 runs in 20 overs. After the commanding performance from their bowlers and fielders, Quinton De Kock seals the deal for the Africans after scoring his consecutive half-century in the series. Beuran Hendricks was awarded the Man of the Match award for his bowling efforts and Quinton De Kock was awarded the Man of the Series award for his outstanding efforts with the bat and scoring two consecutive fifties in the two games played.
So, after the series is shared between the two teams in the shortest format of the game, both the teams will be seen playing against each other in the longest format of the game from 2nd of October onwards. But before that, South Africa will be playing a 3-day practice match against the Board Presidents XI starting from today.