Team India produced a stunning performance in the fourth T20I against South Africa, beating the visitors by a hefty margin of 82 runs to level the five-match series 2-2. After posting a strong score of 169/6 in 20 overs, India bundled the Proteas to merely 87, with skipper Temba Bavuma being retired hurt on 8. While Avesh Khan starred among the bowlers with brilliant figures of 4/18 in four overs, it was Dinesh Karthik who proved to be the game-changer with the bat.
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Karthik put on a show for the crowd in Rajkot, smashing 55 off merely 27 deliveries to take India to a strong score. The 37-year-old Indian batter came at a time when the side was reeling at 81/4 in 12.5 overs, but Karthik remained undeterred as he arrived at the crease with an aggressive mindset. In the last five overs, India smashed 73 runs, out of which Karthik scored 49.
This was Karthik’s first half-century in the shortest format of the game, and with his, he went past Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a massive feat. He became the oldest Indian cricketer to score a T20I half-century.
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– 37 years, 16 days – Dinesh Karthik (against South Africa, 2022)
– 36 years, 229 days – MS Dhoni (against South Africa, 2018)
– 35 years, 1 day – Shikhar Dhawan (against Australia, 2020)
Karthik, alongside, Hardik Pandya, led the Indian resurgence in the innings after the four early dismissals and the right-handed pair forged a quickfire partnership of 65.
Karthik smashed nine fours and two sixes in his entertaining knock, bringing the crowd on their feet. Pandya provided able support with a knock of 46 off 31 balls.
Both sides will meet in the final T20I of the series at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.