South Africa vs India 2018, 3rd T20I: Things which went right for the visitors
India produced yet another clinical performance to end their 52-day tour of the Rainbow Nation on a high as they defeated South Africa by seven runs at Cape Town on Saturday.
The visitors, who were asked to bat first, posted 172/7 in their 20 overs with Shikhar Dhawan (47) and Suresh Raina (43) leading the way. But, despite a half-century from stand-in captain JP Duminy and a fine 49 on debut from Christiaan Jonker, the Proteas fell seven runs short of their target of 173, ending on 165/6.
With the win at Newlands, the Men in Blue claimed the three-match T20I series 2-1.
Now, let us find out the factors that led to India's win.
#5 Shikhar Dhawan-Suresh Raina partnership
India were put in to bat after Proteas skipper JP Duminy won the toss. Virat Kohli was ruled out of the match due to a stiff back, and Rohit Sharma was declared the stand-in skipper.
Once again, Rohit perished cheaply, as he was trapped in front of the wickets by Junior Dala.
Then, a 65-run partnership between Suresh Raina (43) and Shikhar Dhawan (47) steadied the ship for the visitors.
However, India struggled a bit after the duo's dismissal and only a late surge from Hardik Pandya (21 off 17) and Dinesh Karthik (13 off 6) saw them through to their eventual total of 172/7, which initially looked slightly below par at Newlands, Cape Town.
In the end, India's target proved to be a stiff chase for the hosts as South Africa lost the match by 7 runs.
"Especially in the first overs, you need to show intent. Thanks to Virat and Ravi bhai, they gave me the licence. The way we played, the dressing room atmosphere is so calm. The last we have done in two-and-a-half months, no team has done it in a long time. Two lefties at the crease, I got a ball, and working on it", said Man of the Match, Suresh Raina.