INDORE: In a city supposed to be a heaven for foodies, South Africa, powered by Rilee Rossouw‘s murderous 48-ball unbeaten 100-his maiden century in T20Is ‘feasted’ on a listless India to record a morale-boosting 49-run win in the third and final T20I at the Holkar Stadium here on Tuesday night.
SCORECARD | AS IT HAPPENED
Even though it was a dead rubber with India having already bagged the series, the convincing defeat in what was the hosts’ final T20I going into the T20 World Cup in Australia, will leave the Men in Blue sweating over their pacers’ pathetic form. How badly India’s seam bowling department is grappling with injuries and consistency at the moment was evident at the toss when skipper Rohit Sharma revealed that Arshdeep, who had been ‘recuperating’ at the National Cricket Academy during the Australia series, had a slight niggle in the back and missed the game.
Though India won the series 2-1, they would be jittery when they take on South Africa- who now move onto the ODI series against the hosts -on October 30 in a league match of the T20 World Cup at Perth.
Making merry on a featherbed on a small ground, the Proteas plundered 16 sixes and 15 fours, going all guns blazing to make a mockery of India’s average, clueless bowling attack to race away to 227 for 3. While Rossouw was the ‘damager-in chief,’ the back-in-touch Quinton de Kock (68, 43b, 6×4, 4×6) and Tristian Stubbs (23, 18b,2×4, 1×6) played the support act well, before David Miller (19 not out, 5b, 3×6) played the role of a destructive finisher in some style, smoking a clueless Deepak Chahar for three consecutive sixes in the final over. One of those sixes, off a full toss landed on the roof of the Holkar Stadium.
In Pics: Rossouw ton helps South Africa beat India
Playing a batsman short after deciding to ‘rest’ both Virat Kohli and KL Rahul for this match, India were never in the hunt once skipper Rohit Sharma inside-edged Kagiso Rabada onto his stumps to be out for a rare two-ball duck.
After the returning Shreyas Iyer (1) was trapped lbw by Wayne Parnell, Dinesh Karthik (46, 21b, 4×6, 4×4) and Rishabh Pant (27, 14b, 3×4, 2×6) and later Deepak Chahar (31, 17b, 2×4, 3×6) provided some entertainment, but the Proteas had little trouble in bowling India out for 178 in 18.3 overs.
Asked to bat first, the visitors lost their out-of-form skipper Temba Bavuma (3) early, but Rossouw and de Kock (68, 43b, 6×4, 4×6) added 90 in just 48 balls for the second wicket to give the SA innings momentum. In an intelligent bid to give more game time to the young and exciting Stubbs, South Africa sent him ahead of Miller. With Rossouw batting in fourth gear, the left-hander and Stubbs put on 87 in just 43 balls for the third wicket.
Miller then took 24 off the final over of the innings bowled by Chahar, which had the sight of Rohit Sharma almost ‘pleading’ with his bowler to stop bowling forgettable deliveries.