Team India put up a terrific show with the ball in the fourth T20I against South Africa, winning the game by a big margin of 82 runs to level the five-match series 2-2. After posting a score of 169/6 in 20 overs, India’s bowlers bundled out the visitors for just 87. Avesh Khan was the pick of the bowlers with brilliant figures of 4/18 in four overs.
However, it was Dinesh Karthik’s match-saving knock that stole the limelight. India lost their first four wickets quickly before Hardik Pandya and Kartik came to the rescue. India was reeling at 81/4 in 12.5 overs when Karthik came to the crease, and he smashed 55 off merely 27 balls, including 49 runs in the last five overs.
This was Karthik's first half-century in the shortest format of the game, and it also helped him set a new record. Karthik went past Mahendra Singh Dhoni to become the oldest Indian cricketer to score a T20I half-century. He is 37.
Karthik’s comeback to the international team after three years and the subsequent match-winning performances have inspired many. In a post-match chat between Karthik and Pandya, the latter said, “I need to tell you this, genuinely I want to tell you this, you have given a lot of inspiration to many guys in their life.” I remember the conversation you were having when you were not in the scheme of things, a lot of people counted you out.”
The series decider will be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Sunday.
Image credit: BCCI