Cape Town, January 23: South Africa overcame a late cameo from Deepak Chahar to complete a hat-trick of wins with a four-run victory in Cape Town to seal a 3-0 series whitewash against India.
A valiant half-century from Deepak Chahar went in vain as India’s tail collapsed under pressure in a tense run chase in Cape Town on Sunday, 23 January. When Chahar was dismissed, India needed 10 runs to win off 17 balls and had two wickets in hand. But South Africa sent back Jasprit Bumrah in the penultimate over and in the last over, with six needed off six balls, Yuzvendra Chahal’s slog found the top edge and South Africa closed off the game with a nervy four-run victory.
India lost skipper KL Rahul early in the run chase with Lungi Ngidi finding the outside edge and first slip gobbling up the catch. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, both of whom had appeared to be in good touch in the series, stitched together a vital stand that put India back on course in the run chase.
With South Africa’s quicks struggling to find the right line, Dhawan and Kohli cashed in with frequent boundaries. Just as the partnership was edging closer to triple figures, Andile Phehlukwayo struck with the big wicket of Dhawan, out looking to pull after the top edge found Quinton de Kock’s gloves.
South Africa were in for more luck when Rishabh Pant danced down the track and slogged one straight to the fielder to depart for a golden duck. The momentum had turned around with the two-wicket over, but Kohli and Shreyas Iyer brought calm to the run chase.
Kohli completed his second fifty in the series to warm applause from the crowd, but once again failed to convert, falling for the second time this series to Keshav Maharaj. The pressure soon eased when Suryakumar Yadav walked in and unfurled a flurry of attacking shots. Iyer, though, holed out off Sisanda Magal to dent India’s chase again. Soon, Suryakumar Yadav followed, trying to flick Dwaine Pretorius to the leg side and the leading edge taking the ball to mid-off.
Deepak Chahar revived India’s hopes with a brilliant cameo, slamming two sixes and five fours in his half-century that took India to the cusp of a win. The half-century stand with Bumrah ended when he was out caught off a slower ball from Ngidi. Things unfolded quickly afterwards with South Africa wrapping up the Indian tail to complete a close win.
Earlier in the day, India made four changes to their XI for the final ODI of the series and opted to bowl first in Cape Town. Deepak Chahar, one of the players who came into the XI for this game, struck in the third over with the wicket of Janneman Malan to break South Africa’s opening pair early.
Another breakthrough came India’s way early when KL Rahul’s pinpoint throw ran Temba Bavuma out in the seventh over to reduce South Africa to 34/2. Aiden Markram too could not quite get going with Chahar adding another wicket to his tally.
At 70/3, South Africa were not in an ideal position, but Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen rebuilt for the hosts. De Kock went on to script his 17th ODI hundred, going level with Jacques Kallis on ODI hundreds, while van der Dussen, who hadn’t been dismissed yet in the series, made a half-century.
South Africa were on course for another massive total, but India clawed their way back in once de Kock and van der Dussen were dismissed off successive overs. The scoring rate never quite picked up from there with India striking at regular intervals. David Miller’s 38-ball 39 and Dwaine Pretorius’ 20 helped the Proteas set 288, which eventually proved to be enough.