Fourth Paytm T20I in Saurashtra Cricket Association, Rajkot between India and South Africa played on 17th June was once again a do-or-die match for India. South Africa again won continuous four tosses in a row in this series, said Rishabh Pant. While batting first, India put a decent target of 170, and then they bowled South Africa all out on just 87 runs. India beat South Africa by a massive margin of 82 runs.
South Africa decided to field first, and Captain Temba Bavuma wasn’t sure how the wicket was going to play. He also felt that ‘chasing was their strength, and they were backing it. The par score was 180, and South Africa was hoping that wicket gets better in the second inning.’ Strike bowler Kagiso Rabada and Bowling All-rounder Wayne Parnell missed out on this game due to injury. Reeza Hendricks was not looking in good touch. South African opening Quinton de Kock who was missing out on the last two games due to injury, has recovered and is back in the playing XI. Lungisan Ngidi and Marco Jansen also got a chance in yesterday’s match. Rishabh Panth says he was also looking to bowl first and was focusing on the process and not thinking much about the must-win game’. He was aiming to increase India’s run rate in middle overs because that’s what India was trying to achieve.
India’s top order failed to give them a good start. In the last match, half-centurion Ruturaj Gaikwad was dismissed at a single-digit score. Indian captain Rishabh Pant had failed to score quick and big in this series. Overall in this format, Rishabh Pant has not been what he is known for, i.e. his hard-hitting shots. He has a strike rate of 147.97 in the IPL league and just 124.16 in international T20s. In this series, Rishabh Pant has played at number 4 for his team and just scored 57 runs at an average of 14.25. Apart from this, Rishabh Pant also failed to score runs at a good pace in the middle overs.
Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik played a finishing act and helped India to put a decent score of 169 runs in 20 over. Hardik Pandya scored 46 runs off 31 balls and missed his maiden half-century by just four runs. He started slowly in the middle overs with Rishabh Pant, then paced his inning. Dinesh Karthik carried his IPL form in this series as well and especially in today’s match. After his debut in T20 in December 2006 against South Africa, Dinesh Karthik scored his maiden half-century 16 years after his debut. Going through ups and downs in his career, he wasn’t a player who consistently got selected to the squad. But in yesterday’s game, he scored 55 runs off 27 balls with a strike rate of 203.7, which also included nine boundaries and two maximums. “With how India was placed at ten overs, it was important in the scheme of things,” said Dinesh Karthik. He was very happy with what India did in the last seven overs, capitalized on certain overs, and took risks. “Risk is something you need to accept and absorb in T20 cricket. Dinesh Karthik also felt alive and kicking while playing cricket here; the wicket was slightly on the slower side.”
Slow start for South Africa
While chasing a target of 170, South Africa started a bit slow and didn’t look up to the mark; Bavuma seemed good in the start but was hit on the shoulder and helmet grille in 2nd over of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. He was completely surprised by that delivery, and in the last delivery of that over, Bavuma ran so hard and dived to complete a quick single. In the very next ball of the Avesh Khans over, when Bavuma defended a hard length deliver, he started clutching his left elbow. The physio applied spray and also tapped his left elbow, but the South Africa captain looked in pain and decided to retire from that inning. In the 5th over of the second inning, Quinton de Kock checked for a single after defending one to the offside, but after a miscommunication and he was run out by Harshal Patel. Pretorius, who played number 3 in this series for South Africa, got out for the duck for the first time in this series, the second time in his career. In their Powerplay South Africa scored 2nd lowest total of this series, 35/2; the lowest total by SA in this series is 29/3 in the second T20, which they ended up winning. In form, David Miller and Klaasen were both dismissed on a single-digit score in this match. Indian pacer Avesh Khan who wasn’t having good series so far, registered his career-best bowling figures of 4 wickets and 18 runs in his spell of 4 overs in this match. This helped India register 82 runs to win and tie the series by 2-2. South Africa’s 87 all-out against India is their lowest total of SA in T20Is. Their previous lowest was 89 and 96, both against Australia in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2020. Also, this was India’s Biggest win by a run against South Africa in the T20s. Their previous biggest was in the last game, which was 48 run win.
South Africa’s Stand-in captain after Temba Bavuma’s Injury, Keshav Maharaj, was called for a post-match interview and said that “It was lack of adaptivity on our side”. He also felt that things didn’t go according to the plan in the last few overs, ‘Indian bowlers also bowled well. Rishabh Pant felt they executed well and played better cricket. Also, after losing four tosses in a row, Rishabh Pant wants to use his right hand to toss and stay positive. Now the series will come to an end at its decider as India has kept this series alive and will play the 5th and final T20 of this series in Bengaluru.