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That is it then from this game and the series is nicely poised at 1-1 with just a game remaining. The final game of the series will be played on Tuesday, the 11th of October in Delhi. That game will begin at 1.30 pm IST (8 am GMT) but our build-up as usual will begin much earlier. Do join us then. Cheers!
Shreyas Iyer (113* off 111 balls) is the PLAYER OF THE MATCH for his match-winning ton. Iyer says that he is ecstatic and mentions that he went into bat at a tough time but he had a good chat with Ishan Kishan and tried to play every ball on its merit. Says that it’s gonna take a toll on his body as they have to travel the next day and he will have to see what the physio says. Adds that he isn’t someone who changes according to the bowler but relies on instinct and backs himself to perform.
Indian skipper, Shikhar Dhawan starts by joking about the toss and thanks Keshav Maharaj as he chose to bat which worked perfectly for them. He praises Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer for their batting performances. Adds that the pitch was slightly keeping low and it was difficult to play shots on the back foot but after the dew settled in, the ball was coming nicely onto the bat. Mentions that he is proud of the boys and credits the bowlers and further says that Shahbaz Ahmed did very well considering it was his debut.
Keshav Maharaj, the captain of South Africa says that they didn’t expect the dew to play such a big role and hence opted to bat. Adds that he is proud of the bowlers and they did a fine job but the Indian batters were brilliant as well. Says that they thought the pitch will slow down after the first 20 overs but it stayed good for batting. Mentions that they tried to throw everything at the opposition batters but it did not work.
The presentation ceremony…
Ishan Kishan says that he is really happy with the win and is looking forward to playing in the decider. Adds that he is disappointed that he missed out on the hundred but he will look to contribute in the next game again. Mentions that the talk between him and Shreyas Iyer was to put pressure on the bowlers and put away the poor deliveries. Tells that he was looking to pull whenever the ball was near his chest and says that Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje are quick but the ball was sometimes sticking to the surface and they had to be a bit watchful.
Earlier in the game, Keshav Maharaj won the toss and opted to make full use of the good batting conditions early on. This did not work well in the start as they lost a couple of early wickets. Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram did well to put on a century stand for the 3rd wicket to put them in the driving seat. The Indian spinners though got rid of both set batters in quick succession to turn the tide and towards the end, it was a scintillating display by Mohammed Siraj that kept the Proteas to under a score of 300. In reply, India’s innings was very similar to that of South Africa at the start and then another century stand was added by Iyer and Kishan for the third wicket but the major difference was that one of them stayed on till the end which made sure that there were no hiccups. Let’s now hear from one of the protagonists of the run-chase, Ishan Kishan…
South Africa knew that they were a few runs short and with the dew also playing a part it was going to be tough. Wayne Parnell and Kagiso Rabada did get early breakthroughs but that was it. Both spinners failed to control the game in the middle overs and the pacers too were a bit all over the place. Keshav Maharaj who generally does a brilliant job in the middle phase wasn’t allowed to settle one bit. In the end, the stand between Kishan and Iyer broke the back of the run chase, and the Proteas were defeated with ease. They will now look to bounce back in the final game.
India had the momentum coming into the chase but that was thrown away as both openers fell inside the first Powerplay. Shikhar Dhawan looked vulnerable and Shubman Gill too got out after a solid start. Then came the match-winning partnership between Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer. The latter was aggressive from the start and Kishan too surely kept on getting better. Once the southpaw reached his half-century, he treated his home crowd to a fine show as he took Anrich Nortje apart. Kishan fell in the 90s but Iyer battled through cramps and brought up a sensational ton to guide his team to victory. He was well-supported by Sanju Samson towards the end.
An absolutely perfectly paced chase by India and they have managed to level the ODI series at 1-1 in some style as well. As for South Africa, they fail to pick up crucial points in the World Cup Super League and will now find direct qualification for the 2023 Cricket World Cup really difficult.
45.5 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Shreyas Iyer finishes things off in style! It is also fitting that he hit the winning runs. Anrich Nortje serves this almost on a yorker length and on off, Shreyas Iyer opens the face of his bat and slices it through backward point for a boundary. INDIA WIN BY 7 WICKETS AND THE SERIES IS NOW LEVEL AT 1-1!
45.4 overs (1 Run) Short of a length and on middle, Sanju Samson pulls it towards deep square leg for a run. SCORES LEVEL!
45.3 overs (0 Run) Full and on off, Sanju Samson drives it towards mid off.
45.2 overs (0 Run) Anrich Nortje nails the yorker, on middle, Sanju Samson digs it towards short mid-wicket.
45.1 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Lovely shot from Samson! Anrich Nortje bowls this on a good length and on off, Sanju Samson waits for it and dabs it towards the wide third man fence for a boundary. Only 2 runs needed to win now.